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Sunday, February 19, 2012

I believe in yesterday

When an aging rocker starts recording standards, be prepared to cover your ears and run. Rod Stewart, whose poor voice has been beyond salvage for several decades, has been murdering the American songbook, and damaging his place in rock history, in recent years. And so we approached Paul McCartney's new recording, Kisses on the Bottom, with enormous caution.

But despite the title (an oh-so-cute quote from "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter"), it's pretty darn good. He has Diana Krall on piano, and John Pizzarelli on guitar. John's father, the legendary Bucky Pizzarelli, also shows up on several songs. With that lineup, it's hard to go wrong. And the material, which avoids a lot of the obvious from the genre, suits McCartney's sweet croonings perfectly. Including three songs written by Frank Loesser, who could knock great ones out, one after another.

Resist it if you will -- we won't blame you -- but when you're ready to suspend disbelief, we think you'll find it's a fine recording. It certainly brings a smile to our face.

Comments (9)

A little PG, please, for that album title.

On the flip side is a new Roberta Flack album of Beatles songs. From the sample on NPR, it's also a winner. She is a fine musician.

I happened to be going the opposite direction this weekend, learning to play and sing "And I Love Her" from the Beatles' A Hard Days Night album. Simple, beautiful.

I might listen to Sir Paul's new one, but I am not going to buy it myself.

"be prepared to cover your ears and run."

Not quite as bad as $100+ tickets to see some rock stars that haven't produced a good record in 20+ years ( Rolling Stones )

I don't know if these guys are just greedy, don't want to step out of the spotlight (like most politicians) or there's just no alternative talent of any kind of recent vintage.

Here's another record-buying tip: Ray Charles Live In Concert. It was recorded in 1964, and released the following year, but for some unexplained reason it was never released on CD until a couple of months ago. Ray Charles was in his absolute prime, and the recording quality is amazing.

Diana Krall on that McCartney album? Okay, I'm buying it.

Krall doesn't sing, and McCartney plays little, on this one.

That's okay. Of course wish she would sing but enjoy her piano work. She was a huge fan of Oscar Peterson and his work influenced her a lot as did Jelly Roll Morton from what I have read.

I'm a tad late here, but you're correct, Jack. What a surprise! Ms. Krall does her ususal great piano. Adn she does do a duet in a couple of those tunes toward the end.

Fantastic musicians he has lined up - top notch. His singing made me cringe - absolutely horrible but not as bad as Rod.

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