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Soulful Crooner
     

The Soulful Crooner

by Nick Holmes
 
Soulful Crooner's rather awkward title actually provides a pretty good description of Nick Holmes' approach. The New York-based singer/songwriter had been a part of the loose '60s/early-'70s collective White Elephant, which found hotshot N.Y.C. session musicians like Mike Mainieri, the Brecker Brothers,

Overview

Soulful Crooner's rather awkward title actually provides a pretty good description of Nick Holmes' approach. The New York-based singer/songwriter had been a part of the loose '60s/early-'70s collective White Elephant, which found hotshot N.Y.C. session musicians like Mike Mainieri, the Brecker Brothers, Steve Gadd, and Tony Levin letting it all hang out in forward-looking jazz-rock explorations. A number of Holmes' White Elephant pals turned up for his 1973 solo debut, including Mainieri, Levin, and flutist Jeremy Steig. It sounds like Holmes soaked up some significant influences from his work with WE, as most of the songs here bear a swinging, jazzy feel and employ plenty of sophisticated, often jazz-derived changes. Holmes' vocal style is as far from the brawny bluster of jazz-rock peers like Blood, Sweat & Tears' David Clayton-Thomas as it is from the more folk-oriented wing of the era's singer/songwriter scene; his smoky pipes, jazzy swoops, and bluesy bends have more in common with the likes of Boz Scaggs. With the cream of New York musicians at his disposal, Holmes had plenty of options at his hands for Soulful Crooner, even though it was initially released on a small indie label. He takes full advantage of them -- "Grind It Out" is, as its title suggests, a greasy, funky, groove-based workout, while "Oh Picasso" offers a more rock-oriented feel, "Strangers" has a loose, late-night jazz vibe, and the orchestral art pop of "The Promise Suite" evokes Harry Nilsson's early work. Ultimately, though, the jazzy harmonic sensibilities and unconventional song structures make Soulful Crooner seem like a spiritual kin to the winningly eccentric jazz
ock/orchestral amalgam of Laura Nyro's New York Tendaberry or Tim Hardin's Suite for Susan Moore and Damion.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/08/2010
Label:
Riverman Music
UPC:
8809154801844
catalogNumber:
59

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Nick Holmes   Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano,Vocals
David Bromberg   Dobro
Jeremy Steig   Flute
Randy Brecker   Flugelhorn
Tony Levin   Bass
Donald MacDonald   Drums
Hugh McCracken   Guitar,Harmonica,Rhythm Guitar
Jon Pierson   Background Vocals
David Spinozza   Guitar,Soloist
Michael Mainieri   Keyboards,Background Vocals,Vibes

Technical Credits

Nick Holmes   Composer
Michael Brovsky   Direction,Management
Ron Levine   Artwork
Mike Mainieri   Producer
Jay Messina   Engineer
Michael Mainieri   Arranger,Composer,Producer

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