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"Listening to this record is like opening a window and getting a breath of fresh air."

  • Jul 11, 2011
Such is the observation of the legendary American pianist, composer and music producer Burt Bacharach upon sampling Steve Tyrell's 1999 debut album "A New Standard".   I completely concur. Steve Tyrell began toiling in the record business at a very young age as the A&R (artists and repertoire) and record promotions guy at New York's Sceptor Records in the late 1960's and early 1970's.  But it was not until the late 1990's, after a notable performance in the Steve Martin remake of "Father of the Bride",  that Steve Tyrell became a full-time performer and recording artist.  "A New Standard" was Steve's debut album on Atlantic back in 1999.  I sampled it for the first time the other day and was duly impressed.  This is one of the finest compilations of tunes from the Great American Songbook that I have ever heard.  And judging by the other 146 reviews on that are virtually unanimous in their praise of this album I am quite confident that if you are a fan of this kind of music you will enjoy it as well. 

To be honest with you I had never even heard of Steve Tyrell until quite recently.  The former mayor of Providence, R.I. Vincent "Buddy" Cianci is currently hosting a popular local talk show in town and is a huge fan of Steve Tyrell.  Each afternoon "Buddy" kicks off the second hour of his show with Steve's splendid rendition of "On The Sunny Side Of The Street" which is one of the tracks on "A New Standard".  I loved it and just had to hear more.  I was not disappointed.  "A New Standard" is the real deal.  Steve Tyrell proves to be an extremely gifted jazz vocalist.  I loved every track on the album but most especially "Give Me The Simple Life", "The Way You Look Tonight" and "I'll Be Seeing You". Furthermore, I thoroughly enjoyed his rendition of the old Duke Ellington favorite "Don't Get Around Much Anymore".  There were a few tunes on this album that I had simply never heard before. Perhaps my favorite among this group was "I'm Through With Love".  I am here to tell you that there is not a weak track among the 17 included on this disc. 

What is also really impressive is that Steve Tyrell produced this album himself.  "A New Standard" also features memorable performances by a number of very talented musicians including Harry "Sweets" Edison (who passed away shortly after this album was recorded), Joe Sample, "Toots" Thielemans, Larry Williams and the list goes on and on.  I can assure you that "A New Standard" will not be the last Steve Tyrell album I will purchase. Just listening to this disc has made me a huge fan. So press "play", kick back and enjoy a most entertaining album. You will not be disappointed.   Very highly recommended!

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Paul Tognetti ()
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I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on I never could … more
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Although he's achieved most of his success as a producer and songwriter, Steve Tyrell's debut album A New Standard chooses not to showcase his skills at the latter, instead offering Tyrell's vocal versions of twelve standards (including three that appeared in the film Father of the Bride Part II). They're not really exceptional, but they are well done; the main problem is that these songs have been done before so many times, and while pleasant, Tyrell's versions don't really offer anything new. Still, it is nice to hear musicians like Toots Thielemans, Joe Sample, and Harry "Sweets" Edison. ~ Steve Huey

Recorded at Tyrell Studios, Los Angeles, California. Includes liner notes by Burt Bacharach.

Personnel: Robbyn Kirmsse (vocals); Bob Mann (guitar); Plas Johnson (tenor saxophone); Clark Terry, Harry "Sweets" Edison (trumpet); Dan Higgins, Jerry Hey, Larry Williams , Bill Reichenbach Jr. , Charles Loper (brass); Joe Sample, Alan Pasqua, Ralph Grierson (piano); Ed Smith, John Guerin (drums).

Audio Mixer: Bill Schnee.

Photographer: William Claxton.

Arrangers: Joe Sample; Alan Pasqua; Bob Mann.

Personnel: Steve Tyrell (vocals); Bob Mann (arranger, guitar, programming); Robbyn Kirmsse (vocals); Plas Johnson, Bob Sheppard (tenor saxophone); Clark Terry, Harry "Sweets" Edison (trumpet); Bill Watrous (trombone); Charlie Loper, Jerry Hey, Dan Higgins, Larry Williams, Bill Reichenbach, Gary Grant (brass); Toots Thielemans ...
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Label: Atlantic
Genre: Jazz
Release Date: September 21, 1999

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