Steven Davis

Remember Romance

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Steven Davis falls into that category of romantic singers with strong baritone voices best known for albums backed by studio orchestras conducted by such stalwarts of the baton as Tutti Camaratta, Norman Leyden, Nelson Riddle, and Buddy Bregman, among others. More often than not, sprinkled among the large string sections are jazz players who made money playing in such groups getting an opportunity to solo on some cuts. Davis joins such singers as Tony Martin, Vic Damone, and Andy Williams, who have fashioned a career singing the classic romantic songs. The orchestra, led by alternating conductors such as Eddie Karam and Jack Elliott, provides the backdrop for most of the cuts. Along the way there are well-placed solos by such jazz artists as Gene Cipriano on tenor sax, Bill Watrous on trombone, and Dennis Budimir on guitar. For a break in the large orchestra action, Davis works with just a quartet of Stan Freeman, Chuck Berghofer, Steven Schaeffer, and Watrous on "If You Were the Only Girl in the World." Alan Broadbent's light, melodic touch on piano can be heard on such tracks as "I Concentrate on You." One of the more charming offerings is "Moon River," which is entirely devoted to the harmonica of Tom Morgan and Budimir's guitar, as Davis waits until the second half of the Mancini medley before coming in. Davis delivers these familiar tunes with passion and gusto, but without overdoing either one. In sum, this is a pleasant album of well-arranged songs that have weathered the stern test of time and that most people like to hear. Recommended.

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