Album Review: Lou Beckerman – Into the Blue
This album gives you something a little different, starting with a worldly version of Nature Boy propelled by the solid bass line of Terry Pack and a saxophone solo by Simon d’Souza full of yearning.
The second track, Seven Sisters, will be familiar to fans of Pack’s Palimpsest album, played here with original lyrics added by Lou Beckerman.
The often neglected Hoagy Carmichael tune Baltimore Oriole is given new life in a funky arrangement allowing the listener to fully absorb the risqué poetic lyrics. And check out the intense bass solo by Terry Pack (listen closely and you can hear him breathing).
Monk’s classic ballad Round Midnight is full of light touches and fluid lyricism and attentive accompanying from pianist Wayne McConnell.
The guest appearances by klezmer clarinetist Merlin Shepherd (on the haunting and pensive V’hi She’am’da) and violinist Ben Sarfas (on Vocalise) add considerably to an album full of different textures.
Lou Beckerman’s voice is full of clear articulation, rich tones and confident phrasing.
For my tastes I felt there was too much reverb on the vocal track (but then I’m picky about that sort of thing) and I’m not into some of the new-age touches, though I’m sure others will enjoy it nonetheless.
Overall, this is an enjoyable album with beautiful singing, unique arrangements and lots of creative, melodic soloing.
I give this album 8 tibetan singing bowls out of 10.
Lou Beckerman, vocals, tamboura, tibetan singing bowl; Terry Pack, double bass; Wayne McConnell, piano; Dan Hayman, drums, congas; Simon D’souza, tenor and soprano saxophones; James McMillan, flugelhorn, trumpet; Merlin Shepherd, clarinet; Ben Sarfas, violin.
- Nature Boy
- Seven Sisters
- Cool Water
- V’hi She’am’da
- Baltimore Oriole
- Into the Blue
- Song to a Seagull
- Round Midnight
“I’m in discussion with a distributor and later it will be available through iTunes and Amazon. Meanwhile it can be bought through my website: www.loubeckermanjazz.com. £12. (Or if you see me around I am bound to have several on me at any one time!!) There’ll also be a launch some time soon.”