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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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PERRY BEEKMAN

Bewitched

Self-produced

 

 

1. I Wish I Were In Love Again

2. Mountain Greenery

3. Wait Till You See Her

4. Have You Met Miss Jones?

5. Bewitched

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.

Tony Augarde
www.augardebooks.co.uk



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