by Constance Tucker
Where has the celestial vocalist been all my life. Ok, so after those words, you certainly know I will be slathering ALL About this album, so look away if you are not into high value praise, because here it comes. But first a little background on Bob Mundy, the vocalist in question.
Mundy started studying piano at the age of 5 and wound up going all the way through music school, earning a BA in Piano Performance and a BS in Music Therapy from the State University of New York at Fredonia. He is also an accomplished Actor, a member of Actors Equity and SAG-AFTRA and has appeared in many theatrical TV & Film productions. On TV, Mundy’s been seen in Guilty or Innocent for The Discovery Channel, a short-term Principle Role on Passions for NBC (Bob was killed in an Earthquake/Tsunami and then ran in flashbacks for 2 years…only in the Soaps!), The Bold & The Beautiful for CBS, Bones, Privileged and numerous commercials and print ads. Mundy has several feature film roles lined up to shoot over the next few years and hopes that everything works out with the financing, so they can come to a theater near you.
Now onto the music, Love to Me is a themed album of sorts, an appealing twist on the motley and contrary allure of love and its many facets.
The album reunites Mundy with Dan Kaufman on piano, Peter Slavov on bass, Dominick Farinacci on trumpet, Lage Lund on electric guitar and features Joel Frahm on tenor sax, Sean Harkness on acoustic guitar, Mark Ferber on drums, Sam Sadigursky on tenor, and soprano sax, Keita Ogawa on percussion and Yves Dharamraj on cello. The album is a full-throttle of peaks, valleys and the oh so scrumptious voice of Mundy digging into the marrow of the tunes.
“You Wanna Bet,” is an anthem of hope and Mundy sells it with conviction and sass. Farinacci adds his glisten to the track adorning with colors and accents that give the track lilt and style. Mundy effortlessly navigates the tune with ease, a feel change adds additional interest for an overall enjoyable listen.
The stunning “Love to Me,” features guitarist Lage Lund delicately adding an acoustic sound that only guitar can create with its fragility and sensitivity. Cellist Yves Dharamraj, is splendid, Mundy and Dharamraj complement each other with unison passages, that are superb. Sam Sadigursky adds a soprano sax solo that is heartfelt and binds the track in its sweetness. Mundy opens his voice with tension and release, with a clear and conscience head voice that resonates with beauty.
“Until,” this is a tune not to be missed, if even for the last note of the song. Mundy is rare and wondrous as a male vocalist, not emulating the countless Frank Sinatra knock offs, he is uniquely his own brand. Normally these peaks and heights vocally are found occasionally on female vocal albums, more in the pop value – as disappointingly, the jazz vocal genre has not been putting out a lot of “hit” vocalists as of late. In fact, as of late, I am hearing more out of tune or flat releases than ever, which in an era of digital is just shameful. I digress, Mundy is not open to these pitfalls, his instrument is strong and supple. “Until” is a dark and moody tune penned by Sting, which of course is filled with high-value lyrics. Once again Lund is stunning in his execution of the solo section. The rhythm section of Dan Kaufman: piano, Peter Slavov: drums, and Mark Ferber: bass is divinely in sync. A modulation after the solo section, gives lift and Mundy is even more stunning with energy and fire, he soars. The energy builds and builds to a momentary release, until – the final notes, Kaufman sets up the tone as Mundy vocalizes in his highest head voice and is simply magical.
If you miss this album, don’t worry – go back – stop what you are doing, and get a copy. This is a must add to your vocal collection that won’t disappoint.