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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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PERRY BEEKMAN

S'Wonderful

NO NUMBER

 

 

Oh! Lady Be Good

Nice Work if You Can Get It

Fascinating Rhythm

How Long Has This Been Going On

They All Laughed

I’ve Got a Crush On You

Soon

Love is Here To Stay

Liza

But Not For Me

S’wonderful

Love Walked In

Someone To Watch Over Me

I Got Rhythm

Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off


Perry Beekman (vocals and guitar)
Peter Tomlinson (piano)
Lou Pappas (bass)

Recorded Woodstock, NY [65:59]


There’s a good hour-plus of genial Gershwin in this disc with all arrangements coming from the master of ceremonies Perry Beekman, vocalist and guitarist, and clearly something of a Gershwin gourmand. His trio is made up of himself, Peter Tomlinson (piano) and Lou Pappas (bass) and the fifteen tracks are easy-swinging and thoughtfully conceived.

Beekman favours lightly spiced harmonies in Oh! Lady Be Good where he takes a warm and stylish vocal and Pappas’ bass provides cushioning support. Tomlinson’s piano solo on Nice Work if You Can Get It illustrates the individual gifts of the trio whilst Beekman himself ensures that Fascinating Rhythm lives up to its name with adroit comping and single note guitar runs and little ‘drum’ patterns beneath the fluent piano solo. One determining factor of a recital such as this is the question of tempo; How Long Has This Been Going On, for instance, is taken at a nice, languid and well-sustained tempo whilst Beekman himself shoulders the responsibilities – guitar and vocal – of converting I’ve Got a Crush On You to the status of a ballad, à la Lee Wiley.

Indeed that reflects many of the virtues of this disc – a good ear for the most successful tempo, deft solos, a sense of colour, verve, good corporate identity. S’wonderful, the title track, for example, is given a laid-back workout as does a stripped-back Someone To Watch Over Me. The disc ends on a high with a charming version of Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.

Jonathan Woolf



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