|San Francisco singer Johnny Smith has served up a standards-based sample of light jazz. Primarily a folk-rock crooner, Smith's sandy baritone rasp is at its best in Cole Porter's "I've got You Under My Skin" and "Come Rain or Come Shine", the Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen song.
Miles Davis' "All Blues" dressed up with an unusual harmonica intro and new lyrics, "O baby turn my blue blood red" stands out as the sure artistic highlight of this recording. Jazz content on this CD mostly derives from lead guitarist/backup vocalist Mark Holzinger; his single string solos stick close to the melody, as do those of electric bassist Chris Justin.
A few unfortunate lapses in musical taste the questionable final chord in Bobby Timmons' "Moanin'", the melodramatic vocal ending of "More" from the film, "Mondo Cane", and the horrid 'echo effect' that ends the Horace Silver piece, "Song for My Father" mar this singer's otherwise appealing and straight ahead approach to familiar jazz standards.
reviewed by David Fujino January 2007
1. I've Got You Under My Skin (Cole Porter)
2. Old Devil Moon (Burton Lane)
3. All Blues (Miles Davis and Jess Raphael)
4. Is You Is, or Is You Ain't (Ma' Baby?) (Billy Austin and Louis Jordan)
5. Fly Me to the Moon (Bart Howard)
6. Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (Joesef Zawinul, Johnny Watson and Larry Williams)
7. There Will Never Be Another You (Harry Warren and Mack Gordon)
8. Come Rain or Come Shine (Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen)
9. Moanin' (Bobby Timmons)
10. More (Norman Newell, Riz Ortolani and Nino Oliviero)
11. Song for My Father (Horace Silver)
12. Deep Purple (Peter De Rose and Mitchell Parish)