Guy Pastor

It's Magic

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The play list on this Guy Pastor album is divided into two distinct categories. The first has those tunes backed by ersatz strings plus other instrumentation, such as the title tune, "It's Magic," with overblown arrangements. The others are those with real instruments that have a jazzy feel to them, such as a perky "Getting to Know You" with a Billy May-like arrangement. Pastor' s work is far more engaging with those songs in the last category. Unlike his father Tony Pastor's gruff voice, the son has a softer, crooner-like sound which he uses to good effect on some tracks. "Shiny Stockings" features a good horn section with an energetic supportive piano. There's a fine trumpet interlude by Bob Florence band member Carmen Fanzone. Guest vocalists show up on three tracks to work with Pastor. One of them, the very fine Sue Raney, helps with "Love Walked In," making this cut one of the most attractive on the CD. Pattie Brooks, who worked with both Donna Summer and Paula Abdul but who since seems to have disappeared, is with Pastor on "What Would They Say." The last duet is with Fran Walsh on country favorite "Always on My Mind," done here in a much more pop song mode. There's a soulful, earnest "Try a Little Tenderness," with Herman Riley's sax providing the appropriate melancholy setting. But for the most part, the CD rarely rises above the routine despite the overall pleasantness of Pastor's voice and delivery. He would have been better served by sticking with the simple backing of a rhythm section with occasional horn, staying away from more elaborate arrangements.

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