MP3 Tom Lellis - Skylark
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8 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Jazz Vocals, JAZZ: Big Band
"Skylark" was named "#1 Vocal Jazz CD of 2002" by the International Association of Jazz Education Journal and "Most requested CD of 2002" by New York's WBGO radio.
The CD features the 52 member, stringed, Netherlands Metropole Orchestra and arranged by Grammy winner Vince Mendoza and others. Included are Tom's lyrics to works by Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Toninho Horta as well as three originals and Hoagy Carmighael's "Skylark" and an Antonio Carlos Jobim medley.
Reviews for "Skylark"
"The music is elegant; and Lellis' captivating power is sustained throughout the entire CD from the first word of the opener- quite a feat. Playing with sounds and words, his expressive execution and emotional penetration are blended fluently with rare uplifting effect carrying one on a ride to heightened feelings of joy and refreshment."
Top Vocals of 2002
1. Tom Lellis, "Skylark", TMD
2. Cassandra Wilson, "Belly of the Sun", Blue Note
3. Dena DeRose, "Love's Holiday", Sharp Nine
4. Diane Krall, "Live In Paris", Verve
5. Bobby McFerrin, "Beyond Words", Blue Note
IAJE Journal (April 2003)
Amazingly, this early-'00s CD is only Tom Lellis' fourth album; by that time, a jazz veteran as talented and expressive as Lellis should have had a much larger catalog. But then, the music world can be a mind-boggling, frustrating place, and talent isn't always rewarded the way it should be. Lellis sounds like he is making up for lost recording time on this ambitious disc, which finds him being backed by Holland's Metropole Orchestra (conducted by American jazzman John Clayton). Being an orchestral project, Skylark is more arranged than Lellis' small-group efforts. But the musicians still get in some meaningful solos, including trombonist Bart Van Lier and tenor saxophonist Leo Janssen. Of course, Lellis' vocals are the main attraction, and the singer really shines on a variety of material. Lellis, much to his credit, isn't the sort of jazz vocalist who is content to sing overdone Tin Pan Alley warhorses exclusively and do them the same old way -- he is much too ambitious for that type of knee-jerk approach. Lellis won't exclude a song just because it was written in the '30s or '40s, but unlike a lot of the derivative Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald wannabes who labels are so quick to record, he looks for great songs from the '60s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. On this CD (which has been sold on the Metropole Orchestra's website), Lellis turns his attention to songs that range from Hoagy Carmichael's "Skylark" to Chick Corea's "Straight Up and Down" (which he wrote lyrics for) to Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Falando de Amor." Brazilian music is a priority on this CD, and the singer revisits "Milton's Moment" (Lellis' ode to Brazilian great Milton Nascimento) and Toninho Horta's "Mountain Flight." Skylark is enthusiastically recommended to fans of post-bop vocal jazz. Alex Henderson, All Music Guide
"It's very romantic, enticingly sensuous fun. Lellis avoids easy sentiment with challenging songs and his harmonically galvanizing vocal approach. "
Newark Star Ledger
"The CD " Skylark" is a stunning accomplishment."
"The warmth and versatility of his voice make him one of the most easily distinguished contemporary jazz singers on the planet"
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