Lou Lanza

The Road Not Taken

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Lou Lanza showed promise on his debut album, The Road Not Taken, which tended to be generally more restrained than his sophomore effort, Corner Pocket. Although "Oh, Lady Be Good!" proved that the Philadelphian had no problem swinging in a horn-like fashion at a brisk tempo, Lanza's romantic side dominated the little-known CD. Lanza showed how strong a ballad singer he could be on appealing versions of "Midnight Sun," "My Funny Valentine" and "My Ship," and his talents as a composer were illustrated by romantic originals ranging from the introspective ballad "The Darkness Within" to the poignant "Lilliana" and the bossa nova "I Wish I Knew." Lanza's solid Philly support includes guitarist Jimmy Bruno and saxman Larry McKenna, who was one of the city's top tenor men but had enjoyed little national exposure. Although the more risk-taking Corner Pocket would be a better introduction to Lanza's talents, The Road Not Taken is pleasing and enjoyable.

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