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RONNY WHYTE

Shades of Whyte

AUDIPHILE RECORDS ACD-353 [58:52]

 

 

 

 

This Song is You

Isnít That The Thing To Do?

Itís Time For Love

Nina Never Knew

I Love The Way You Dance

Linger Awhile

Love Me Tomorrow

Iíll Close My Eyes

Iíll Tell You What

Blame It On The Movies

Some Of My Best Friends Are The Blues

Medley: A Little Samba/So Danco Samba

For Heavenís Sake

Iím Old Fashioned

Too Late Now

Dancing In The Dark

Ronny Whyte (piano, vocals and Arrangements): Boots Maleson (bass): Sean Harksness (guitar): Alex Nguyen (trumpet): Lou Caputo (tenor sax and flute): Mauricio De Souza and David Silliman (drums, alternating tracks)

Recorded at Teaneck Sound Studio, New Jersey, 12 and13 December 2016

 

Doubtless Ronny Whyte would baulk at the description Ďveteraní but the pianist and singer has a solid discography to his name over many years and like Audiphile stable-mate Marlene ver Planck he shows no sign of slowing down. The epitome of the versatile supper club and cabaret cum jazz performer, Whyte has surrounded himself with sidemen who add variety to the fine 16-track sequence. Five of these cuts are his own compositions but the names Kern, Duke (Vernon, not Ellington), Burton Lane, Arthur Schwartz and others show a seasoned approach to the repertoire. With space for tenor sax and trumpet, either solo or as obbligato, Whyte exercises the discretion to sit out and be supportive on the piano, comping with discretion.

Whyte has an easy-swinging, slightly Sinatraesque approach to things. Both playing the piano and singing and working within the context of a small band imposes its own discipline but Whyte is thoroughly on top of things, generous with his offering the trumpet obbligato to Alex Nguyen on The Song is You, for example, though here I donít think he should have scatted so prominently; not his finest hour. Lou Caputoís tenor double is flute, which he puts to good use on Blossom Dearieís Isnít That the Thing to Do? though unless heís a quick changer I assume there was some overdubbing on Whyteís Itís Time for Love. When it comes to his own compositions Whyte is able to draw on all his rich experience and craft a piece most suited for the milieu; a case in point, is I Love the Way You Dance, which is something Sinatra could easily have taken on. It has that aura about it. Perhaps a samey approach sometimes bedevils things. Vernon Dukeís Love Me Tomorrow sounds desperate to break free from both tempo and arrangement. Once in a while Whyte segues into bluesy mode; with a little hipper presentation Iíll Tell You What could have been fertile territory for Mose Allison Ė it already has a Mose-like title Ė but he does dig down in the supper club tristesse of Some of My Best Friends are Blues.

A Latino Samba medley adds variety of texture and rhythm but Whyte chooses to end the back nine with a trio of classics by Kern, Lane and Schwartz, wittily prefacing and ending Iím Old Fashioned with some old fashioned Classical pianistics of his own. Itís a charmer.

Jonathan Woolf


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