Till Bronner - The Good Life (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Artist: Till Brönner
Title: The Good Life
Genre: Jazz, Standards, Straight-Ahead Jazz, Trumpet Jazz, Modern Jazz, Vocal Jazz
Label: © Sony Masterworks
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Recorded: East West Studio 2, Hollywood, USA
Sony Music Masterworks releases The Good Life – the debut album from renowned German jazz trumpeter, Till Brönner. Featuring bassist John Clayton, guitarist Anthony Wilson and pianist Larry Goldings. Recorded at the former Ocean Way Studios in LA, the very same place that Sinatra recorded “My Way,” The Good Life revisits a selection of standards, all of which have made history through their vocal interpretations. Brönner’s aim throughout was to create a specific atmosphere-a sunnier, more lighthearted groove; easygoing but thoughtful, gentle but never superficial. The album includes new arrangements of works made famous by Frank Sinatra (‘In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning’), Billie Holiday (‘I’ll Be Seeing You’), and Nat King Cole (“Sweet Lorraine”). Brönner has produced many of his own albums, but on this occasion he made the conscious decision to hand over the reins to legendary Dutch producer, Ruud Jacobs. As Brönner likes to put it, “constantly looking at your own reflection can get a bit wearing after a while.”
Since recording his first album in 1994, Generations of Jazz, Brönner has steered his career through a series of different phases, including making a name for himself as a producer through his work with artists such as Hildegard Knef and Thomas Quasthoff, as well as, very significantly, discovering his own singing voice. Up until now Brönner has been seen as a trumpeter who occasionally sang and now he will demonstrate his new found talent across an entire album of popular jazz hits – including two originals.
Till Brönner can rightly be regarded as Germany’s most successful jazz musician, but his fame has spread far beyond the National and even the European scene. This year he was invited to participate at International Jazz Day at the White House, playing alongside such legends as Ray Brown, Dave Brubeck and James Moody. Brönner has always walked his own path, evoking thought and finding ways in which to challenge the greater jazz community as a whole. He continues to push those preconceived notions of what a jazz musician should be, showcasing his clear vision and determination throughout his longstanding career.
Cutting standards isn't a new thing for German jazz chameleon Till Brönner. His 1995 debut album, Generations of Jazz, contained fine renditions of "Bye Bye Blackbird" and "I Want to Be Happy." Since then he's recorded classic tunes of all kinds -- from pop and soul to Brazilian and film gems -- in a wide variety of settings.
The Good Life marks the trumpeter and vocalist's return to straight-ahead jazz after a self-titled outing that paid homage to CTI in 2012, and 2014's Movie Album, which treated film themes as contemporary jazz numbers. This 13-song set contains 11 standards and two originals. Brönner surrounded himself with a crack band of sidemen -- pianist Larry Goldings, guitarist Anthony Wilson, bassist John Clayton, and drummer Jeff Hamilton -- at the legendary Ocean Way studio in Los Angeles with Dutch producer Ruud Jacobs. The vibe throughout is airy, thoughtful, and relaxed (the album's subtitle is "Music for Peaceful Moments"); the charts are direct but not lightweight. The opener is a reading of Sasha Distel's and Jack Reardon's title track that reveals his gentle, warm horn in the melody atop a lithe, brushed drum kit groove accentuated by Clayton's walking bassline, liquid fills from Wilson, and Goldings' intimate accents. In his most authoritative vocal performances on record, Brönner still directly references Chet Baker's singing, but the phrasing nuances of Michael Franks and Bob Dorough are reflected in his delivery of the breezy yet swinging renditions of "Come Dance with Me," the bossa-tinged interpretation of Irving Berlin's "Change Partners," and the straight-up fingerpopping "I May Be Wrong"-- with a choice solo by Wilson. On his own "O Que Resta" (an instrumental) Brönner frames his own lyrical playing in the long shadow cast by Miles Davis during his Gil Evans period. Goldings' break is close, humid, and gorgeous. "I'll Be Seeing You" is an iconic Billie Holiday number. Brönner even sings until the midway point -- long after the band establishes a lithe, loping groove, and he delivers a fine flügelhorn solo. When he begins to vocalize, the focus has shifted and it's a clever addendum. More ambitious is the read of "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning," inseparably associated with Frank Sinatra. The band's collective harmony establishes it as a nocturnal nursery rhyme. Clayton's illustrative bassline is carefully colored by Wilson as brushed snare and sparse, shimmering piano chords hold the frame. Brönner employs a halting, yet utterly lyrical vocal, delivering an utterly unique take that doesn't even reflect on Sinatra's. The only thing that doesn't hold up here is the leader's "Her Smile." The calypso-cum-samba hybrid is hip, but the lyric is trite compared to everything else. That's a minor complaint, though. This is a romantic and "light" record for sure, and it's one that shows Brönner's assuredness in reinterpreting the repertoire with grace and sophistication. --AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek
1. The Good Life 04:57
2. Sweet Lorraine 04:01
3. For All We Know 05:19
4. Come Dance with Me 04:39
5. Change Partners 04:57
6. Love is Here to Stay 05:48
7. I Loves You Porgy 04:57
8. I May be Wrong 03:47
9. O Que Resta 04:44
10. I'm Confessin' that I Love You 03:55
11. I'll be Seeing You 05:07
12. Her Smile 04:09
13. In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning 03:20
Till Brönner, trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals
Larry Goldings, piano
Anthony Wilson, guitar
John Clayton, bass
Jeff Hamilton, drums
You must register before you can view this text. Please register and Login
Would you like to leave your comment? Please Login to your account to leave comments. Don't have an account? You can create a free account now.