Love Is... Like a Breeze

Michael Civisca

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Love Is... Like a Breeze Review

by Dave Nathan

Riding on arrangements charted by Charles Calello and the very large orchestra conducted by the same, full-throated baritone Michael Civisca has his very good way with a play list of 14 familiar traditional pop and ballad pieces, including a bonus track of a Bob Dylan piece which seems somewhat out of whack with the rest of the musical agenda. That aside, it's great to hear a full-voiced male singer in these days of spare, light-voiced, hip singers on the male side of the vocal ledger. Regardless of tempo and type of song, Civisca takes everything in stride, whether it be a medium-tempo "Just One of Those Things," recalling Frank Sinatra, but to which Civisca adds a vocalese-like chorus, or the Brazilian classic "Desifinado" and a suave, melodic "If I Ruled the World." Like great pop singers, Civisca can sing anything with ease and aplomb. The singer also has all the tools for being successful in supper and night clubs and on the musical variety stage. There's that strong voice that can be heard in the last row or at the back table without showing a strain or loss of pitch. Like Sinatra, he has a kind of in-your-eye, "I'll do it my way" attitude he brings into the music every now and then. Civisca and Calello add some lyrics to popular standards here and there, but there's no damage done. Overall, the band is terrific. Although there is a cluster of strings added on the ballads, they don't get in the way, acting as a cushion instead of a barrier. This is a very good male vocal album made in the days when such an occurrence was all too rare a happening. Recommended.

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