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Stepping Out

Anthony Strong

Naïve Jazz 2013

Review by David Bowling

 

His name is Strong, Anthony Strong. I don’t know if he likes his martini’s shaken and not stirred but his CD picture reminds him of James Bond. He may not be a member of the British secret service but he is an excellent jazz singer, pianist, and songwriter.

Stepping Out is his first full-length album following on the heels of his 2112 debut EP, which topped the U.K. jazz charts.

He is one of those light jazz artists who veer toward the pop mainstream. He chose a number of songs from the Great American Songbook including Cole Porter (“Too Darn Hot”), Irving Berlin (“Stepping Out With My Baby”), Victor Young & Ned Washington (“My Foolish Heart”), and Frank Loesser (“Luck Be A Lady”), which he translates into his own unique style.

He also co-authors five tracks, which probably are more representative of who he is as an artist. “Falling In Love,” “Earlybird,” “Someone Knows,” and “Learning To Unlove You” have a band feel complete with a rhythm section, plus strings and horns in places, that allow Strong to show off his piano and vocal skills.

Anthony Strong has produced a smooth album. Stepping Out may not change Jazz music but it is a pleasant and entertaining listen.

Rating: ***

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