Charles Cermele

Ask Me Again

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For this cabaret set, singer Charles Cermele picked good songs, uses a suitably supportive quartet, and pays respect to each tune's lyrics. Actually, the latter gets to be a bit of a problem after a while, because Cermele is so respectful and loving to the words that they sound quite precious, even when the lyrics do not deserve it. In addition, most of the songs (which include "Strike Up the Band," "Blues in the Night," "As Long as I Live," and "My Shining Hour") have been interpreted in much more definitive fashion elsewhere, so Cermele's versions tend to be forgettable. His voice is strong, but he does not have many fresh ideas to offer these veteran standards.

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