Valentine’s Day

David Ian

Prescott Records 2014

Review by David Bowling

David Ian has released a full-length Christmas album, 2011’s Vintage Christmas, in addition to last year’s EP, Vintage Christmas Wonderland. He has now turned his attention to a new holiday. His Valentine’s Day was released in time for the annual romantic festivities.

David Ian is a melodic jazz pianist who has a laid-back and intimate style. Upright bassist Jon Estes, drummer Josh Hunt, violinist Elizabeth Estes, and cello player Matt Nelson provide the instrumental backing. He continues the trend of his recent releases by bringing in guest vocalists on half the tracks, while leaving the rest as instrumentals.

While the only true Valentine song is the classic “My Funny Valentine;” the other tracks fit the mood and are mostly taken from the Great American Songbook. Instrumentals such as “Autumn Leaves,” “Stella By Starlight,” and “Someday My Prince Will Come” not only fit the theme of the album but allow Ian to improvise and impress with his piano expertise.

He assembles an eclectic band of vocalists to complement his instrumentals on a number of the tracks. Kevin Max (“My Funny Valentine”), Acacia (“Solitude”), Miguel Mayo (“Young And Foolish”), and Talitha Walters-Wulfing (“Summertime”) all bring their unique vocals to his mellow interpretations.

The only odd song is listed as a bonus track. “Sweet By And By” with a vocal by Russ Taff ends the album. It is a pure gospel tune that is a wonderful stand-a-lone track but really does not fit in with the rest of the material.

Valentine’s Day is a smooth album of light jazz that will go well with a romantic dinner or by the fire place. Who knows what other holidays are in David Ian’s future?

Rating: ***1/2