The first task, then was to gather the right musicians for the album that would features classics and standards from Billy Strayhorn to Burt Bacharach to Carole King and everyone in between…and after. He got them in the persons of Greg Sankovich (piano, organ and Fender Rhodes), Paul Eastburn (bass), Alan Hall (drums), Michaelle Goerlitz (percussion), Lincoln Adler (alto, tenor and baritone saxophones), Dillon Vado (vibraphone), Matthew Hewlitt (guitar), Mike Olmos (trumpet) and Allison Gosmer (trombone). Lincoln Adler and Greg Sankovich arranged and produced the album.
The album opens with Carole King’s I Feel the Earth Move. The drums and percussion create a cool groove to launch the piece. Hosley’s delivery is more staccato in the opening and then takes a more bluesy approach before moving to scat-flavored Jazz. Fun.
Cole Porter’s Love for Sale follows after. Of Porter and some of the other songwriters on the album, Hosley says, “These songs have kept me inspired and employed throughout my career.” His rendition of this Porter classic is spot-on and Lincoln Adler’s sax solo is just the right touch.
I Say a Little Prayer for You is the great Burt Bacharach and Hal David song that was made famous by Dionne Warwick. Sankovich’s piano work is fine stuff. Hosley takes a different approach that Miss Warwick did and he spins it well. Mike Olmos joins in with a sweet trumpet solo that serves as one great interlude before Hosley takes the song to its conclusion. Nice arrangement.
Crazy She Calls Me is the Russell and Sigman hit. The Sankovich organ is a fine touch with the vibraphone of Dillon Vado as they accompany Hosley. The vibes solo is beautiful. Hosley’s treatment of the vocals is excellently done.
Irving Berlin’s Blue Skies is a classic, for sure. The piano, bass and drums introduction is a good choice. The song has been done by so many great artists and they all put their own stamp to it. Hosley’s eternally youthful vocal sound is both fresh and reverent to the original. Adler’s sax solo is a good addition. His phrasing is cool. The arrangement is great and Hosley’s vocals are right on.
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Some Enchanted Evening is a standard that deserves respect and fresh approaches for the rest of human history. The arrangement is cool and I like Hosley’s delivery. Sankovich works the song through the Fender Rhodes and Eastburn’s fine bass is beautifully done.
Crazy (Reverberi, Burton, and Reverberi, composers), Cee Lo Green’s hit, is a more contemporary piece that Hosley believes is deserving of great attention. When Hosley is finished with it, you find yourself in agreement. Organ and swinging bass and drums turn this loose as a Jazz piece and Adler’s sax work adds the exclamation point.
Lush Life by Billy Strayhorn is one of the most wonderful pieces of music ever composed, performed and recorded. After all, it is Billy Strayhorn. The piano, bass and drums accompany Hosley gorgeously, while Hosley turns in an excellent job of phrasing those lyrics.
Something’s Gotta Give by the great Johnny Mercer comes next. It starts with the jumping beat from guitar, bass and drums. Matthew Hewlitt turns in a sweet guitar lead. It is an acoustic guitar, in fact almost all of the instruments are acoustic, according to Hosley, to add to the album’s “authenticity.”
The album closes with Sam Smith’s Stay with Me. It is a recent hit by Sam Smith and Hosley felt that this could be given a great Jazz flavor. Hosley expects that this might be a standard someday. Again, as with Crazy, Hosely treats it that way and indeed makes it into something Jazz. So well done.
What took Dave Hosley so long? He has been treating Bay Area audiences to his talents for four decades. From standards to future standards, carving his own signature in each one, Dave Hosley knows how to treat his subject matter with dear affection and courageous innovation. And he has the voice to do it.
~Travis Rogers, Jr. is The Jazz Owl