Review: Singer Steve Tyrell connects with his past on new CD

AP News
|
Posted: Feb 19, 2015 2:52 PM

Steve Tyrell, "That Lovin' Feeling" (Concord)

"That Lovin' Feeling" takes vocalist Steve Tyrell full circle to where he began his professional musical career as a producer-promoter for Scepter Records. The label had offices in Broadway's iconic Brill Building packed with the songwriting teams who created an enduring soundtrack for Baby Boomers.

These connections make this the most personal and engaging of the 11 albums Tyrell has recorded since launching a second career as a jazz vocalist in 1999.

Singing with his appealing raspy twang, Tyrell offers jazzy arrangements of tunes from the early '60s he considers the Great American Songbook Vol. 2, such as Carole King and Gerry Goffin's "Up on the Roof" and Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil's "Good Good Lovin'."

What sets this tribute apart is that Tyrell can bring in many of the original artists as guests, including songwriter Mike Stoller, who plays Hammond B3 organ on his own "Stand By Me."

Highlights include "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," a soulful duet with surviving Righteous Brother Bill Medley; a saxophone-driven jazz arrangement of "Laughter in the Rain," performed with composer Neil Sedaka; and "Rock and Roll Lullaby," featuring singer B.J. Thomas, whom Tyrell produced on the original Scepter recording.

Tyrell is able to put his own stamp on these new standards, particularly on the girl group song "Chapel of Love," which he sings from a male perspective in an arrangement featuring vocals from his daughter, Lauryn.