by Constance Tucker
Jazz crooner Danny Freyer exhibits confidence, command and an engaging repertoire that offers the listener a mix of ole’ and a smidge of new, but is the new that is truly the specialty in this well blended mix. Freyer is a well-rounded, well-crafter songwriter as well as a spot on vocalist who makes you forget that underneath his suave swaggered delivery, lurks a highly skilled vocalist who can turn a phrase and dazzle you with charming delivery, while highly entertaining you at the same time. It is that impeccable ability of warmth and perception all backed by a completely in the pocket swinging band, that makes this a stellar debut offering entitled so eloquently Must Be Love, and after one listen you will know why.
Freyer skillfully bridges swing and bebop, with the right amount of nostalgia mixed in. Avoiding the trap of Cabaret so many vocalists fall in when presenting the classic standards by Cole Porter, Harry Arlen, Johnny Mercer, Mack Gordon and Charlie Parker, all of whom are proudly represented in Freyer’s debut with solid presentation. This former New York rock ‘n roller (now Los Angeles based) has shed his rock roots and is now a serious jazz vocalist to be reckoned with.
A few originals really show Freyer has a knack as an effective songwriter. Two of his tunes, “Must Be Love or Else I’m Drunk” and “Tanked As a Fish, Buzz Bombed and Blitzed” sound like standards they are so well crafted. The backing musicians include Matt Politano on piano, Roger Shrew on bass and session producer Evan Stone on drums, with occasional contributions from Jeff Elwood on reeds and Tony Guerrero on trumpet. Freyer offers a poignant performance of the love theme from Godfather, Part III, “Promise Me You’ll Remember, ” seasoned with gorgeous string work.
Freyer is truly a full-package artist. Strong writing, arranging, delivery and panache all add up to a sizzling debut. Truly Freyer is one to watch.
Track Listing: Goodnight My Love; Bop Goes My Heart; That Old Black Magic; Yardbird Suite/Llet’s Make Babies Baby; Lean Baby; Promise Me You’ll Remember; Must Be Love Or Else I’m Drunk; Tanked As A Fish, Buzzed, Bombed And Blitzed; Begin The Beguine; Stardust; Goodnight My Love (Bonus Track).
Personnel: Danny Freyer – vocals; Evan Stone – drums; Matt Politano – piano; Roger Shew – bass; Jeff Elwood – saxophones. Tony Guerro – trumpet (Tracks 1, 5, 11); Mark Visher – clarinet, Ben Devitt – trombone (Track 5), Dannielle DeAndrea – background vocals (Tracks 1, 11); Phil Parlapiano – accordion (Track 9); Michelle Kim – violin; Bryan Gonzalez – viola; Suji Kang – cello; Ai Nihira – violin; Alira Strings arranged by Ryan Pryor & Evan Stone (Track 6).