J.D. Souther - Tenderness (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz
Artist: J.D. Souther
Genre: Pop Rock, Jazz Pop, Vocal Jazz, Singer/Songwriter, Crossover Jazz
Label: © Masterworks | Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Recorded: Henson Studios, Hollywood, CA; Strange Cargo, Los Angeles, CA; The Bridge, Glendale, CA
Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, iconic musician and actor JD Souther releases his new album Tenderness via Sony Music Masterworks. Produced by Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Madeleine Peyroux, Melody Gardot, Herbie Hancock), the album will be available on May 12, 2015.
"JD Souther is both a legendary and mysterious figure in American popular music," says Chuck Mitchell, SVP of Sony Music Masterworks. "He's a self-described 'classicist' who, in his new work, draws a through line between the first great songbook of Porter, Kern, etc., and his own generation's massive impact on the art of the song. The result is an album that brings a new and fresh perspective to this amazing singer-songwriter's contributions."
"Now there are many ways to listen to music, and my intention is, as always, that each song tell its own story," adds Souther. "However, Tenderness is designed as a set. I invite you to enjoy it this way."
"JD Souther proves once again why he's an American treasure," says Irving Azoff, the music industry icon whose company manages Souther.
Called "an American songwriting treasure" (Creative Loafing), with a "musical history that is improbably rich" (San Diego Union Tribune), Souther's Tendernesscontinues the new path in sound and style that he has forged since his return to recording in 2008; but at the same time, the album is unlike anything he has previously recorded. Joining Souther on guitar and vocals are longtime collaborators pianist Chris Walters and saxophonist Jeff Coffin; as well as new friends, vocalist Lizz Wright and trumpet master Till Bronner. Jazz piano legend and recent Grammy Award winner Billy Childs is on board as well; he also has arranged the elegant and searing strings on half the album's tracks.
On Tenderness, Souther balances his pop and jazz sensibilities paying particular homage to his earliest influences, the geniuses of the 20th Century Great American Songbook, while maintaining the signature qualities that have made him one of the true contemporary giants of American song.
Souther is best known penning countless hits for the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Roy Orbison, James Taylor, Don Henley, George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Brooks and Dunn and others; while establishing a cult following as a performer with the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band and as a solo artist.
When J.D. Souther returned to recording in 2008 with If the World Was You after a 24-year break, he allowed his lifelong love of jazz and pop standards a prominent place in his songwriting. As a singer he regularly worked with jazz artists, but had seldom allowed that side of himself to show too readily on records. He also applied those traits to 2011's Natural History, a dynamite collection of his tunes that were (mostly) associated with other artists. Tenderness, Souther's Sony Masterworks debut, teams him with producer Larry Klein and a studio band that includes guitarist Dean Parks, bassist David Pilch, drummer Jay Bellerose, keyboardist Patrick Warren, and trumpeter Till Brönner. Pianist Billy Childs contributes string arrangements to three songs and plays on one. As a singer, Souther's tenor voice is undiminished by the passage of time. As a songwriter, his ballads here, including opener "Come What May," the sensual "Dance Real Slow," and the vulnerable "Need Somebody," reflect the influence of the standards book, while the melodies display the distinct hallmarks of his craft. The song selection here goes wider and deeper, however. "Something in the Dark" reflects the Southern California scene of the 1970s that Souther was such an integral part of. Its stinging bluesy guitars, Lizz Wright's backing vocal, dramatic strings, trumpet, electric piano, and hypnotic percussion take the listener back to his writing for the Eagles and Linda Ronstadt. "Let's Take a Walk" is irresistible with its breezy, nearly Caribbean-tinged groove -- and a fine soprano sax contribution from Jeff Coffin. Childs' string chart on "This House" textures one of Souther's most searing ballads. His delivery makes the poignant lyric visible. The melancholic Americana lullaby "Horses in Blue," with beautiful, smoky, muted trumpet fills by Brönner and a lonesome cello woven in for balance, also offers unique phrasing and emotional control. Closer "Downtown (Before the War)" features Childs' crystalline piano, Brönner's grooving muted horn, and a stellar upright walking bassline. Despite the fingerpopping tempo, it's haunting; the music encompasses vintage cool jazz, singer/songwriter pop, and L.A. R&B inside a nearly cinematic narrative. Souther's command of both his music and his voice on Tenderness is total; he makes it all sound easy. But that's deceptive: it takes a lifetime of commitment and hard work to deliver a gem like this. --AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek
1 Come What May 03:16
2 Something in the Dark 04:19
3 This House 04:03
4 Let's Take a Walk 03:36
5 Dance Real Slow 04:46
6 Show Me What You Mean 02:33
7 Horses in Blue 04:28
8 Need Somebody 03:00
9 Downtown (Before the War) 05:20
10 All Your Wishes (Bonus Track) 04:09
J.D. Souther - Vocals, Guitar, Guitar (Electric), Vocals (Background)
Sam Bacca - Percussion
Jay Bellerose - Drums, Percussion
Till Brönner - Trumpet
Billy Childs - Piano, String Arrangements
Jeff Coffin - Sax (Soprano)
Vanessa Freebairn-Smith - Cello
Larry Klein - Composer, Keyboards, Producer
Luke Maurer - Viola
Matt Nelson - Cello
Alyssa Park - Violin
Dean Parks - Guitar (Electric), Hi String Guitar
David Piltch - Bass
Mark Robertson - Violin
Chris Walters - Piano
Patrick Warren - Keyboards, Organ (Hammond), Piano, Wurlitzer Piano
Lizz Wright - Vocals, Vocals (Background)
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