Jonny Abeles

Jonny On The Spot

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In a time when there is a significant dearth of good male singers, Jonny Abeles has come along to help fill the vacuum. On his first album, Always, Abeles was backed by rhythm section plus horns. Here it's just the rhythm section with Tardo Hammer again filling the piano chair. That old saw "familiarity breeds contempt" does not apply with this collaboration. In this case "familiarity breeds familiarity" as these two fit like a well-matched pair of gloves. Like his first CD, Abeles stays with a musical agenda of well-known standards and pop tunes handling them in a straight from the shoulders' manner, on key with solid phrasing and good diction. Staying a bit behind the beat on up tempo numbers such as "Get Out of Town," he shows he has rhythm and if one is not careful, the toe begins to tap. When he gets to the slower ballads, Abeles picks one of his sidemen to work, as on "I Should Care" where he forms an affiliation with guitarist Steve Berger. Abeles is not one of those muscular crooners in the manner of Dick Haymes or Frank Sinatra. He has a lighter tone with a minimum of vibrato, closer to the styles Vic Damone or David Allyn. The only time he gets in trouble is when he tries to be extra assertive as on "You and the Night and the Music."

There is nothing pretentious about this session, no big production about it at all. Rather, it's a relaxed 50 minutes of familiar tunes done by a good singer backed by competent musicians and is recommended.

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