FRANK SINGER - oFF tHE tOP: standards 1
IF YOU'RE GOING TO PLAY 71 minutes of unaccompanied guitar as Frank Singer does on his program of 12 standards, you'd better have a good sense of time.
Those listeners who view Singer as a note-heavy guitar slinger should listen closely to "Standards 1".
The Berklee School of Music-trained Singer stays surprising close to the originals.
He eschews flashy soloing, for the most part content to limn the harmonic contours of such chestnuts as "Manha de Carnaval" and "Body and Soul" with gentle waves of chords.
For those of you who know Frank Singer as an in-your-face, ripping, rocking, electric, and eclectic guitarist in groups like Cats-A-Bear, Tito, One World Tribe, J.D.'s Blues, and Plato's Cave, you'll be delighted to learn he has a lush and lyrical side, too.
That introspective side is displayed to perfection on Frank's new CD called "Off The Top: Standards 1," a direct-to-disc set of solo guitar versions of nine well-chosen popular songs buttressed by a trio of jazz classics...
...Happily, Singer blends the tried-and-true with the unknown in a beguiling fashion...
...the playlist, like a fine whiskey, is stocked from the top-shelf, ranging from Duke Ellington's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," Rodgers & Hart's "My romance," and Johnny Green's "Body & Soul" to Monk's "Straight No Chaser," Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage," and Yardbird Parker's "Donna Lee."...
...the performance is Singer at his tops, challenging that of Joe Pass - perhaps the only other guitarist to record solo via his Pablo "Virtuoso" discs.
For those who love the detailed sound of a Gibson jazz guitar adventurously tackling some well-known tunes in a style that can serve as a backdrop to a candlelit dinner and the serious and hushed late-night listening that follows, you can't select any better that "Off The Top."
Jazz standards...while I can’t say that I am familiar with any of these tracks besides “Maiden Voyage”, each track sounds as expertly played and recorded as some of the originals must have been. While each of these tracks have considerably longer run times than most popular music today, the nuanced playing of Frank is such that one can listen to seven or eight minutes of just [his] guitar playing without being bored in the least...
...What really astounds me are the incredible myriad of noises that Frank can draw from [his] guitar, whether it be the traditional sound, a more horn-like riffs, or even something that is comparable to a piano...
...“Standards 1” is much more like a Opera with different movements than any old punk CD with 12 or 13 cuts...
...While none of the tracks that Frank plays on this disc are [his], they are still imbued with [his] spirit in the sense that a guitar in [his] hand is a living, breathing instrument.
CDs of oFF tHE tOP: standards-1 are no longer available. Since the Mechanical Licensing allowed for CD sales only, not digital, I can no longer sell the music. I am offering the tracks as mp3s and wave files for your listening pleasure. Please feel free to download the music. If you like what you hear, please check out the other music available here: Music Purchase Links
Copyright © 2002 - by Frank Singer and Naked Kitty Productions. All rights reserved.