Sings Bobby Troup

Mark Winkler

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Sings Bobby Troup Review

by Scott Yanow

This is a very logical release. Bobby Troup, like Dave Frishberg and Bob Dorough in later years and Hoagy Carmichael before him, was a notable songwriter, a fine pianist, and a personable singer. His music and personality seemed to epitomize the West Coast jazz scene of the 1950s, even though he survived for decades afterwards, often working as an actor. Mark Winkler has a complementary style, is a notable songwriter himself, and, although he does not play piano professionally, he is wise enough to surround himself with top musicians. On his enjoyable set, Winkler performs some of Troup's best-known hits (including "Route 66," "Baby, Baby All the Time," "Girl Talk," and "Meaning of the Blues"), a few joyful novelties ("Three Bears," which was a hit for Page Cavanaugh, "Hungry Man," and "Lemon Twist"), and such obscurities as "One October Morning," Troup's words to Gerry Mulligan's "Walkin' Shoes," and Troup's collaboration with Matt Dennis, "Learn to Love." In addition, Winkler closes the set with a tribute that he co-wrote with Jon Mayer, "Two Guys from the Coast." The instrumentation and personnel change from track to track. Along the way, pianist Jon Mayer, organist Joe Bagg, guitarist Anthony Wilson, tenor saxophonist Bob Sheppard, bassist Kevin Axt, and drummers Roy McCurdy and Mark Feber offer Winkler swinging and sympathetic support. Throughout the well-paced set, Mark Winkler does Bobby Troup and his music justice.

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