****RINGER OF THE WEEK****Johnny Summers: Piano Sessions, Vol 1

Whoa! Where’d THIS guy come from?!?

FINALLY, A REPLACEMENT FOR MICHAEL BUBBLES. Not that I’m prejudiced or anything, it’s just that HE’S A POSER, and this guy, Johnny Summers, is the antithesis of the overslick overstyled and over sanitized male vocalists that are taking over the known world. Summers sings, plays trumpet and flugelhorn and displays tons of moxie here as he does a number of songs with simple piano support by Chris Andrew, and other times with a rotating collection of bassists, singers with and without ukulele and other visiting sax and brass buddies.

To give just a HINT of how hip this disc is, he does jazz takes of COUNTRY music, and it sounds UNBELIEVABLE! Andrews strides his piano and Summers blows like it’s the last song of the night on a take of George Jones’ “She Thinks I Care” and before you know it, he then does a take of “Folsom Prison Blues” that will give goosebumps as Shane Statz’s tenor agonizes along with the piano and voice. You’ve also got some cozy little swingers with the uke rhythm on “I Wonder, I Wonder” and “My Baby Just Cares For Me” while a duet w/ vocals bounces along like a Super Ball on “My Baby Just Cares For Me” and a sizzling “I’m An Errand Boy For Rhythm.” A closing instrumental take of Dvorak’s “Going Home” is a thoughtful repose, while Summers’ own piece “Simple Song” is heartfelt and timeless. His voice is that of an instrumentalist in that he makes it clear and articulate, but isn’t afraid to make it musical and bel canto as well. The best thing about this disc is that it’s called “Volume 1” which implies more is to soon to come. This guy needs to tour the Coast. Bring him on down!!!

MAPL Records




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