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John Stevens - Red (2005)

10 February 2012
Music | Jazz | Vocal Jazz

John Stevens - Red (2005)

Artist: John Stevens
Title Of Album: Red
Year Of Release: 2005
Label: Maverick
Genre: Jazz, Vocal Jazz
Quality: APE +.cue
Bitrate: Lossless
Total Time: 36:38 Min
Total Size: 228 Mb
WebSite: amazon


01.Come Fly With Me
02.My Blue Heaven
03.Someone To Watch Over Me
04.Here, There and Everywhere
05.All Of Me
06.This Love
07.I Only Have Eyes For You
08.Let's Fall In Love
09.It Had To Be You
10.Shadow Of Your Smile
11.Don't Get Around Much Anymore

John Stevens (vocals)
Erika Christensen (vocals)
Bob Mann (guitar, keyboards)
Lisa Dondlinger, Gil Romero, Sidney Page, Charles Everett, Joel Derouin, Phillipe Levy, Haim Shtrum (violin)
Janet Lakatos (viola)
Vahe Hayrikyan, Armen Hayrikian (cello)
Roger Rosenberg, Bob Sheppard (saxophone)
Warren Leuning, Bob Millikan (trumpet);
Randy Andos (trombone)
Chip Jackson, Kenny Ascher, Bill Mays (piano)
David Finck (bass instrument)
Paulinho DeCosta (percussion)
Michael Markman (violin)
Harry Shirinian (viola)
Armen Ksadjikian (cello)
Lou Marini (saxophone)
Lew Soloff (trumpet)
Jim Pugh (trombone)
Lee Musiker (piano)
Allan Schwartzberg (drums)

John Stevens has got to be the luckiest 17-year-old in the United States. Not only did he get to be a finalist on the third season of American Idol and participate in the tour, but, in his post-American Idol recording debut, John has been able to avoid the American Idol marketing machine and has instead put out an impressive debut CD that showcases his own style.
John, of course, was the red-headed crooner who was one of the most polarizing American Idol contestants ever. Some were charmed by his sweet manner and penchant for Sinatra tunes; others found his vocals lacking and felt his style made him a novelty act. In his CD, Red, John plays to the former group. If you were a fan of John during his tenure on American Idol, run -- do not walk -- to get this album, because it's the album you've been dreaming of.
Red opens with "Come Fly With Me," which sets the tone for the CD. It's pure Rat Pack stylings, complete with tinkling piano and swinging horns. Other standards on "Red" include "I Only Have Eyes For You," "Someone to Watch Over Me," "All of Me," "The Shadow of Your Smile," and "It Had to Be You." John's voice, enhanced by time and the production process, sounds smooth and polished. While he still needs experience -- both in life and in singing -- to grow in artistry, John's delivery is warm and infused with a real love for the material he's singing.
Two of the songs venture outside the Sinatra-esque. One is a delicate version of the Beatles' "Here, There and Everywhere." The other, interestingly, is Maroon 5's "This Love," reworked to a passionate ballad. It's an ambitious interpretation, and I think John's voice is a little too light to pull it off completely, but it's still enjoyable in its own right and as an intriguing hint of how John can use his style for interpretation, not just imitation.
There's one duet on Red -- "Let's Fall in Love," with Erika Christensen, better known for her acting in Steven Soderbergh's "Traffic." While Erika has a nice singing voice, I didn't feel that she meshed terribly well with John. My personal dream choice of duet would have been to have had Fantasia Burrino (winner of the third season of American Idol) and John recreate "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," which they sang together on tour.
Overall, though, Maverick Records did great by John on this album. It's a sophisticated presentation of a talented singer, and they deserve kudos for not trying to fit him into a standard pop mold. Red is an enjoyable album for anyone who likes the Sinatra songbook, a reassuring reminder of diversity in the music industry, and, most of all, a genuine treat for fans of John Stevens.

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