I said it before on his 2015 debut album Coulda Woulda Shoulda, and I’m saying it again after his new release Solitary Man…this Matt Forbes is the vocalist that you want to discover. Forget the posers and TV personalities. Forbes mixes standards, pop tunes and obscurities and delivers them like Mariano Rivera on this album with a band lead by Alan Steinberger/key and including a smoky horn section boasting of Danny Janklow/ts, Doug Webb/ts, Kirsten Edkins/as,  as well as  guitarist Andrew Synowiec from the Gordon Goodwin Phat Band.
As Forbes slinks around the B3 and smoky saxes of “ I Wanna Be Around” and the snappy street smarts of “The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else,” all that’s missing is a guest appearance by Edmund O’Brian to complete the film noir mood. Forbes sounds like he’s wooing Gloria Graham as he saunters to Ken Wild’s bass on “The Best is Yet to Come” while he’s relaxed, and completely unmillenially masculine on a Town Without Pity grooved read of “Cry Me A River.” He trades in his shark skin suite for a suede jacket for a folksy yet hip read of Neil Diamonds “Solitary Man” with acoustic guitar and strings, while shades of Benjamin Britten produce a modern classical mood on the rich and tender “With Or Without You.” This guy makes the standards stand out! When’s he hitting LA?!?

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