Tommy Tune: Slow Dancin
Timelessness is a very rare quality. It’s a matter of style and attitude. Quite frankly, time has to pass before something proves to be timeless. However, “timeless” is the word that keeps coming to mind when I listen to this collection of songs performed by Tommy Tune.
Thanks to the sure musical direction of Wally Harper, amid the lush orchestrations by Peter Matz, these songs from disparate sources fuse together with a singular attitude that makes each of them an inevitable destination on a romantic journey.
The musical story they tell is the oldest one in the book, and yet somehow there is a sense of discovery about all of them in this setting.
The sense of collaboration among Tommy, Peter, and Wally is a wonder to behold. Their shorthand is swift and specific, and their song selection is, well, impeccable. Standards such as Johnny Burke & Jimmy Van Heusen’s “Moonlight Becomes You” sit happily next to lesser-known songs like Dave Frischberg’s “Sweet Kentucky Ham”; that’s a very special talent – it takes knowledge, taste, and affection for the material, three qualities that these guys have in spades.
Many years ago, most of us used to think of Tommy as first a dancer who could sing, then a choreographer, then a director/choreographer, then he reminded us that he was still a captivating performer. Now with this album he steps out of all those roles and becomes a singer in the old style. Warm, gentle, assured: as if he’d been doing this sort of thing all his life – which of course he has, just not with a 30-piece orchestra backing him up.
Time alone will tell whether or not this recording proves to be “timeless,” but for now just make sure the champagne is iced, the moon is full, the candles are lit, a Manhattan skyline is outside your window, and you have someone – real or imagined – in your arms to dance with. The tempos are right, just right, for a gentle bossa nova, a slow fox-trot, or a quiet waltz … Slow Dancin’.
– Bill Rosenfield
The orchestrations on this recording are my own personal homage to Gordon Jenkins; he was a very good friend to music, and he is really missed by all of us who learned so much from him.
– Peter Matz
Tommy Tune – Footnotes: A Memoir is published by Simon & Schuster
Tommy Tune, vocals
Wally Harper, piano
Violins: David Nadien, Alicia Edelberg, Richard Sortomme, Ron Oakland, Maura Giannini, Mathew Raimondi, Barry Finclair, Suzanne Ornstein, Al Rogers, Gerry Tarack, Masako Yanagita, Belinda Whitney-Barratt
Violas: Lamar Alsop, Julien Barber, Ron Carbone, John Dexter, Toby Appel
Celli: Mark Shuman, Jeanne Leblanc, Clay Ruede, Eugene Moye
Acoustic Bass: John Beal
Acoustic Guitar: Jay Berliner
Harp: Gloria Agostini
Drums: Joe Cocuzzo
Trombones: Jim Pugh, Bruce Bonvissuto
Bass Trombone: Paul Faulice, Jack Schatz
French Horn: Russell Rizner
Oboe: Dennis Anderson
Alto Sax: Seymour Red Press
Tenor Sax: Lawrence Feldman
Concertina: Dominick Cortese
Jazz Violin: Andrew Stein
Arranged and Conducted by Wally Harper
Orchestrated by Peter Matz
Barbara Cook appears courtesy of DRG Records
“The Way You Look Tonight” also appears on Close As Pages in a Book: Barbara Cook Sings Dorothy Fields (DRG Records)
The Manhattan Rhythm Kings appear courtesy of Cabaret Records