I catch a lot of flak for not being a Sinatra devotee. Part of that is because I dig Tony Bennett. Man, that guy knew how to SING! I've always felt like Frankie was just mailing it in via a set of templates, but ol' Tone always brought something new to the table, and it was obvious he'd spent a lot of time training. More, he looked into each song, took time to understand it and then see how he wanted to handle it. Well, that's the way I feel about Bob Mundy and his Something Beautiful. The guy knows how to SING, and the CD firmly centers in exactly that, with a lot of hip musical accompaniment reflecting a laid back no-sweat atmosphere capturing exactly the right matrix for what's being encanted.
Right from the start, I was taken by Mundy's purity of tone amid a striking fidelity to standards that ceaselessly gives way to innovation and adventurousness, often daring, resulting in a number of held breath instances wherein you think "No way he's gonna resolve THAT!", only to be amazed at what occurred. This, ladies and gentlemen is not just vocal music to listen to, it's vocal music to LISTEN to; art, in other words. Mundy possesses and obviously has worked long and hard on a beautiful voice, no two ways about it, every single note the result of much consideration and carried to perfection. I felt I was listening to Paul Desmond in different flesh and exquisite wistfulness. Doubt me? Listen to the subtle changes just the single word 'dream' goes through as he modulates it to end Laura.
Something Beautiful is piano bar music carried to smoky Broadway venues rented for the night just for a select group of aesthetes and no one else, everyone sitting enraptured, hanging on every bar and measure, going home sighing, I Will Always Love You a perfect example in why. East of the Sun, West of the Moon, kicking off the CD, is exuberant and mellifluous simultaneously, a bit of Chet Baker mixed with a lot of an interesting twosome: Paul Anka and Judy Garland, the three elements recurring constantly, a showcase of uncommon acumen and sonorities. He personally favors Streisand, credits her as his teacher in absentia, but I hear Judy.
Now here's the surprise: this is Mundy's debut CD. I ain't kiddin'. Pretty amazing. An actor and member of SAG-AFTRA who's appeared in a number of TV series (Guilty or Innocent, The Bold & The Beautiful, Bones, etc.), he's also been cast in many stage shows, and, trust me, this guy was absolutely made for the stage, the sort of talent that steals the spotlight without even trying.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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