Bobby Troup Sings Johnny Mercer

Bobby Troup

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Bobby Troup Sings Johnny Mercer Review

by Nick Dedina

Bobby Troup is mainly remembered as a songwriter and television personality, but as this session makes clear, he was also a winning jazz interpreter of other people's tunes. With this album, Troup was able to bring together two of his greatest musical influences as both a performer and as a songwriter: swing era Nat King Cole and Johnny Mercer. By the late 1940s Nat Cole may have ditched his highly influential jazz trio for orchestral settings, but Troup continued to use Cole's supple piano style as the musical foundation for his entire professional life. And like Johnny Mercer, Troup was a songwriter who knew jazz inside out, and performed with winning twinkle in his eye. So, even if Bobby Troup will never be confused with Frank Sinatra, it's the way that he combines his "musician's voice" with his piano playing that is special. While half of the tunes on this album are the same ones that make it on to every Johnny Mercer collection, Troup had the class to throw in such winning Mercer obscurities "Cuckoo in the Clock," "Lazy Mood," and "I'm With You." This isn't an essential collection, but it does prove that even if Bobby Troup never put pen to paper, he would've had a place in 1950s jazz history solely as a performer.

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