Dennis Rowland

Rhyme, Rhythm & Reason

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Dennis Rowland's most notable musical association was with Count Basie, lasting for a few years starting in 1977. The singer's long-overdue debut recording as a leader is in some ways a tribute to the Basie period, and a few of the numbers (most notably "I'm Just a Lucky So And So" and "I'm Afraid the Masquerade Is Over") use scaled-down versions of Eric Dixon's original arrangements for Rowland with the Count. But overall, the choice of material is not that inspired -- certainly these versions of "Please Send Me Someone to Love," "Angel Eyes," "Wild Women Don't Have the Blues" and "It Never Entered My Mind" are far from definitive. The backup group (other than a few contributions from trumpeter Snooky Young and tenor saxophonist Pete Christlieb) is fairly anonymous, and Rowland comes across mostly as derivative of Ernie Andrews. As it would be shown on his much stronger follow-up, Get Here, Dennis Rowland was capable of much better than this decent but largely forgettable effort.

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