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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



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NEVILLE SKELLY

& His Swing Orchestra

Upstage UPS8003

 

 

 

  1. I’ve Got the World on a String
  2. Summerwind
  3. Lazy River
  4. Witchcraft
  5. Too Close for Comfort
  6. Portrait of My Love
  7. One for My Baby
  8. I’ve Got You Under My Skin
  9. Around the World
  10. For Once in My Life
  11. True
  12. Anything But You
  13. Since My Baby Has Gone

Neville Skelly comes from Liverpool, he is only 27 years of age, but he sings in the styles of the great ‘standard’ singers, Sinatra, Bobby Darin and Matt Monroe. He has already worked with Big Bands on both sides of the Atlantic, including the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. What is certain, is that the time is right for someone to succeed with a career based on this type of music. The ‘Pop’ scene is in terminal decline and a return to quality music must happen some time. The emergence of several new vocal talents has coincided with a situation where there are now more competent big band musicians about than ever before. Even though most only play in rehearsal bands, it can be heard from the BBC Big Band Contest, that the standard of musicianship is very high indeed.

Neville is a fine singer and hopefully his youth and good looks will spark off a revival of the kind of music that is on this album. Unfortunately neither the sleeves, nor Neville’s web site, tell us anything about the members of the orchestra, but they make a great sound. These are stock arrangements (I have most of them in my Big Band library) and there is no doubt that Neville could be made to sound even better, with a pad written especially for him. This costs a great deal of money however and can come later.

The last 3 tracks feature Neville with a quartet, performing some newer songs, they are good, but producing songs of the quality of the Big Band tracks is some ask! They do however serve to demonstrate Neville’s versatility.

I hope Neville’s career takes off because I love this kind of music, he has fine voice and he deserves to succeed. He has several upcoming TV appearances so he may get the exposure he needs to do it. If you like quality singing of quality songs, buy Neville’s album. You might just be helping us all to hear more of it on radio and TV!

Don Mather

 



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