RICHARD RODNEY BENNETT: Words and Music – Richard Rodney Bennett, piano and vocals – Chandos Records

by | Apr 4, 2007 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

RICHARD RODNEY BENNETT: Words and Music – Richard Rodney Bennett, piano and vocals – Chandos Records 10411, 53:52 ****:

At last, for those curious about the exceptional abilities of this classical composer in the torch song/cabaret idiom, here is ample proof as to his talent for delivering a song. With the exception of three of his pieces, these are all standards from the Great American Songbook, and each is delivered with a panache and sensibility that captures the essence of the meaning of the lyrics. His style is almost a cross between Noel Coward and Bobby Short—certainly his pianist prowess is as great as the latter’s. Bennett has also obviously listened to some of the tracks of the great Cole Porter, as his characterizations and sprightly turns of phrase are most alluring and sympathetic in his clever manner of delivery.

It is no easy thing to pull off a one-man show of this type, and independence and integration of voice and piano—each engaged in some really tricky prestidigitation—is indicative of a truly talented individual with an innate feel for the style. This is a fine album and should appeal to jazz enthusiasts, classical stalwarts, and American popular song lovers. Excellent sound – very clear and clean, though recorded at a rather low level.

Tracklist =

It might as well be spring
Don’t sleep in the subway
Get rid of Monday
Someone to watch over me
Angel eyes
Spring can really hang you up the most
Let me down easy
I won’t dance
Killing time
How long has this been going on?
On second thought
Early to bed
Wake up, chill’un, wake up
Goodbye for now
Words and Music

— Steven Ritter 
 

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