1. I Wish I Were In Love Again
2. Mountain Greenery
3. Wait Till You See Her
4. Have You Met Miss Jones?
6. Thou Swell
7. It Never Entered My Mind
8. My Heart Stood Still
9. There's A Small Hotel
10. Spring Is Here
11. This Can't Be Love
12. Blue Room
13. This Funny World
14. Falling In Love With Love
15. The Lady Is A Tramp
Perry Beekman – Vocals, guitar
Peter Tomlinson – Piano
Lou Pappas - Bass
Subtitled “Sings and plays Rodgers & Hart”, this album has American
vocalist/guitarist Perry Beekman performing 15 marvellous songs by
two masters of the Great American Songbook. Beekman sings lyrics clearly,
which is just as well, as Lorenz Hart’s lyrics are superbly witty
(e.g. “When love congeals, it soon reveals, The faint aroma of performing
seals, The double-crossing of a pair of heels”). Perry delivers the
songs with sophisticated clarity, and he sings in tune.
Beekman is joined simply by piano and bass but his guitar adds a lot to the overall sound. The understated nature of the playing may suggest that the trio
is a cabaret act but they present us with true jazz improvisation, sometimes resembling such famous trios as that of Nat “King” Cole. Pianist Peter
Tomlinson and bassist Lou Pappas are essential features of the trio, and they support Beekman perfectly. In fact the modest approach of all three is
endearing: presenting the songs with the respect they deserve. Most of the songs are familiar but the trio also performs such rarities asWait Till You See Her (from the 1942 musical By Jupiter) and This Funny World (a touching song from the 1926 musical Betsy which I hadn’t encountered before).
Beekman pays attention to how the tunes are arranged. For example, the structure of I Wish I Were In Love Again is echoed in the mid-song duet by
guitar and piano. The poignancy of It Never Entered My Mind is reflected by Perry simply using his guitar and voice on their own. And the
jazz-classical arrangement of Blue Room is aptly described in Perry’s sleeve-notes as a “collaboration between Richard Rodgers and J. S. Bach”
(note the arco bass solo from Lou Pappas).
You shouldn’t be put off by the generally low-key approach of this trio. Their reserve is a result of their professional approach to the music: quality
musicians delivering quality songs with quality melodies and lyrics.