Matt Dennis - Play Melancholy Baby-CDs-Palm Beach Bookery
Matt Dennis

Matt Dennis - Play Melancholy Baby

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Play Melancholy Baby

By  Matt Dennis

Very Good Condition

Thanks to the inventive power of jazz, a weak voice need not mean a bad performance. Matt Dennis, who worked in the business as a musician, arranger, composer, accompanist, and coach before he recorded a note at the front of a band, possessed a limited voice but wielded it in a way that endeared him to vocal fans. He was capable of singing sweet music or swinging the blues or leading a high-powered orchestra, he had high interpretive skills, and he was a great scatter. Dennis particularly excelled in comfortable settings (the live Plays and Sings Matt Dennis is a highlight), and Play Melancholy Baby is quite comfortable indeed. He leads a sympathetic quartet occasionally augmented by trumpeter Don Fagerquist and alto flutist Ronnie Lang, and sings a set of appropriately melancholy standards -- "A Cottage for Sale," "My Funny Valentine," and Dennis' own "This Is My Story." The casual nature of the date is unfortunately tarnished on the highlight "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea," when a vocal chorus commits a unique brand of heresy by enthusing right over one of Dennis' fine scats. Despite a good selection of songs, Play Melancholy Baby doesn't portray Matt Dennis in the proper light; ballad singing wasn't a specialty for this singer. One exception comes with "I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues," which allows him more latitude to bend his notes, and also gives his piano (and Fagerquist's trumpet) some meat to chew on for their accompaniment.

A Review:

If you are looking for something quiet to play in the background, give this a try. Kind of like Sinatra, with his own special jazz flair. Cottage for Sale is especially touching. Beware, most songs are kind of melancholy, but that's the point, right?

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea
  2. Cottage For Sale
  3. This Is My Story
  4. I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues
  5. I’M Thru With Love
  6. Perhaps, Perhaps
  7. My Melancholy Baby
  8. Heart Of Stone
  9. Spring Is Here
  10. I’Ll Never Be The Same
  11. For The Losers
  12. My Funny Valentine


Product details

  • Audio CD (November 16, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: RCA Fs Imports
  • ASIN: B00005U8IO

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