Rusty Draper

Rusty Meets Hoagy

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The charming color photo that fills the front cover of this album suggests an intimate meeting of two musicians with piano and guitar, but this is actually a full-blooded big-band studio session in which singer Rusty Draper takes on the catalog of songwriter Hoagy Carmicheal with fine, if not earthshaking results. The songwriter himself is there at the keyboard, although his tinklings are often buried under the other instruments. Technically quite adept, Draper's singing style is all over the place, which can be part of the fun as a lyric might have one part country inflection, the other part Frankie. (Sinatra or Avalon, take your pick.) Best tracks include the rowdy "Hong Kong Blues" and the beautiful "Moon Country" with lyrics by Johnny Mercer.

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