'One Art' is the debut recording by the New York-based jazz/cabaret singer Ralph Brande. His wide-ranging repertoire brings together fresh new takes on great American jazz and Broadway standards with reinterpretations of some of the best songs of the singer-songwrter era. Thus eclectic collection includes songs by Duke Ellington, Frank Loesser, Harold Arlen, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, and Brazilian songwriter Djavan, among others. Personnel: Tex Arnold (arranger/piano) Matt Wilson (drums) Steve LaSpina (bass) Lou Marini (tenor saxophone) Brian Koonin (guitar) Jim Saporito (perscussion) Here is some of the praise that has been given to 'One Art': 'The first time I heard Ralph Brande sing I knew he was a real find! I think you'll be as delighted as I am with this debut recording. It contains great singing, the best songs, and the wonderful arrangements and playing of Tex Arnold and his band. It's Ralph's dream come true, and when you hear it I know you will be as big a fan of his as I am.' Margaret Whiting 'Vocalist Ralph Brande's debut disc is in a distinctly different bag. Brande has a handsome tenor voice and a good feel for standards. The twelve tracks come from all corners of popular music. It's a nicely-paced program that combines flights of rhythm with splendid ballad work. Brande flies through the pairing of Nat Cole's 'Errand Boy for Rhythm' and Walter Bishop's 'Swing, Brother, Swing,' then follows that with a reverential but unshowy blend of Duke's 'Sophisticated Lady' with the Harold Arlen/Ira Gershwin tune 'The Man that Got Away.' He takes two pieces from folky James Taylor ('Looking for Love on Broadway' and 'Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight') and with the help of pianist Tex Arnold's beautiful arrangement makes them plaintive. The duo shake off the original Drifters/Dionne Warwick-sounding arrangement of Billy Joel's 'An Innocent Man' and play up the combination of naivete and wisdom that the lyricist intended. Some listeners may find Brande too slick, but that may be because he enunciates so well. He sings well and the lyrics never ring false. This disc is worth searching out if you like fresh-faced interpreters of song.' Richard B. Kamins, Cadence Magazine 'It is a good bet that Billy Joel did not imagine 'An Innocent Man' in such a delicate cabaret style when he wrote it. However, in the capable hands of New Yorker Brande, the tune sparks with intriguing new life. He uses his lilting tenor range and theatrical phrasing style to infuse the song with a subtext that seems to address more world-conscious issues than simply matters of the heart.' Larry Flick, Billboard Magazine 'Ralph Brande's debut CD is a sweet shot straight from the heart...His rendition of Nat Cole's 'Errand Boy for Rhythmn' is an unadulterated delight delivered in an easy, winning style.' Eva Leonard, Metrosource 'With a sense of warmth and an understanding of the musical styles he sings, Brande delivers an enriching and refreshing set of jazz and Broadway standards.' Jeffrey L. Newman, The Washington Blade 'In his debut release appropriately titled 'One Art,' Ralph Brande combines warmth, charm, and innocence with an infectious love of jazz-based song that is sure to bring sighs of pleasure from even the most jaded listener. Tastefully hip backings provided by Tex Arnold and a crack group of New York-based jazzers set the stage for this outing that brings new hope to the category 'traditional pop vocal.'' George Evans, CKUT Montreal 'An exciting addition to my playlist both on-the-air and at home-and my listeners agree. It's remarkable how Brande and arranger/magician Tex Arnold distill a century of jazz tradition into just twelve tracks.' David Kenney, WBAI-FM 'Ralph Brande is a performer who will be around for some time to come. His new CD is a terrific demonstration of his vocal abilities and performance skills. Most impressive is a James Taylor sequence that combines 'Looking for Love on Broadway' and 'Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight.' Brande is equally good when he swings his material ('Errand Boy for Rhythm'/'Swing, Brother, Swing'). I particularly enjoyed his reinterpretations of Frank Loesser's 'If I Were a Bell' and 'I'll Know,' both from 'Guys and Dolls.' He also delivers Stevie Wonder's 'Blame It on the Sun' with great intensity and concludes the entire program with a fabulous version of Hoagy Carmichael's 'The Nearness of You.' 'One Art' is a terrific release by a superb singer and is highly recommended.' Don Collester, WDVR-FM.
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