Ya gotta love the fact that guitarist Perry Beekman starts his CD's liner notes in stating the much-hidden fact that the epochal team of Rodgers & Hart was composed of a CPA type (Rodgers,the composer) and a lush (Hart, the lyricist). Figures. Damn writers, alkies and barflies to a one (urp!, oops!, sorry, I'm beta testing a new bourbon as I scribe, lest I get kicked out of the brotherhood). Yet he and Rodgers put out a prodigious 500 songs, have been covered in uncountable renditions, and will continue to be revered for a century to come at the very least. Beekman is a Rodgersy character, looks like a lost member of The Big Bang Theory boyz, an older cousin perhaps, maybe one of their profs at college, and in Bewitched plays 15 of his fave R&H tunes with Lou Pappas on bass and a very tasty Peter Tomlinson on piano.
In fact, Perry even sings like a Bang-er, and that only adds to the off-kilter vibrancy of this release, as Big Bang is nothing if not vibrant. When he solos, though, watch out! Hanging in between the classic swing catz and Grant Geissman, he can peal out great lines and mellifluous chord sequences, after which Tomlinson oft takes up the spunk and fingersnapping. Pappas also gets solos, pulling back up the terra firma he normally lays down. Interestingly, all three take turns singularly or in ensemble in rhythm sectioning when Beekman's singing. How they manuever around one another is another of the disc's attractions.
There are two instrumentals (Have you met Miss Jones and Blue Room) and one solo spot (just Beekman in It Never Entered my Mind), the rest trio affairs, and there's a very like-able Tommy Tutone / Barry Manilow (in his swing state) / John Pizarelli timbre throughout the release. The recording is pristine, as clear as the glass window Mark Dann was peering through while he documented the sessions, spacious and defining. But I'm tellin' ya: the producers of Big Bang really need to lay an ear to Bewitched 'cause almost everything here would really put an extra genre zing to the show's geek / nerd / cool milieu.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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