Eric Comstock: No One Knows – Eric Comstock, vocals and piano; featuring Frank Wess, tenor sax and flute; Wycliffe Gordon, trombone; Eric Reed, piano; Peter Bernstein, guitar; Peter Washington, bass; Matt Wilson, drums – Harbinger Records

by | Jul 26, 2005 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Eric Comstock: No One Knows – Eric Comstock, vocals and piano;
featuring Frank Wess, tenor sax and flute; Wycliffe Gordon, trombone;
Eric Reed, piano; Peter Bernstein, guitar; Peter Washington, bass; Matt
Wilson, drums – Harbinger Records HCD-2201 – 59 min. **:

Anyone unfamiliar with Eric Comstock can gain a lot of insight from
reading his bio and press releases – he’s played just about all the big
rooms in New York, and is a star both on and off-Broadway. And, he’s
been profiled by almost everyone, from CBS’s Sunday Morning to Public
Radio International, who named him their “Next Big Thing.” So why is
this guy so relatively unknown, especially when one look at the stellar
lineup of backing musicians and a listen to the sumptuously recorded
sound of the music here should have this disc selling like hotcakes?

Unfortunately, the bulk of the problem lies with Mr. Comstock – not
everyone who’s a star of the stage is also a big recording star. And
while his voice may be perfectly suited to cabarets and musicals, I
don’t really think he has the vocal characteristics that lend the
necessary star power to further his career at the record stores. This
disc is truly excellent in all regards, and probably merits four stars
based on the instrumental performances and recording quality, but fails
in the single most important category for an aspiring vocalist – Eric
Comstock just doesn’t have the requisite charisma to make it big as a
jazz vocalist. I know I’m just a lone voice, and there’s much to like
in this album musically – at least until he opens his mouth. Try it
before you buy it – who knows, it may be your cup of tea.

Tracks: Easy on the Heart; To the Ends of the Earth; No One Knows;
Don’t Get Around Much Anymore; Jump for Joy; Small World; The Night Has
a Thousand Eyes; Grievin’; Imagination; I Do It for Your Love; Hazel’s
Hips; When Lights are Low; Old Devil Moon; There Will Never Be Another
You; If I Had My Druthers; I Hear Music.

— Tom Gibbs 
 

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