It is difficult not to be impressed by Joe Escobar. He has a highly appealing voice, a friendly style, and his phrasing always swings. While inspired by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin, he does not attempt to copy anyone, instead sounding like himself. In addition, he is an excellent trombonist.
On It's My Turn, Escobar is joined by pianist John Quam, bassist Bob Chandler and drummer Bill Belasco.The rhythm section provides a solid foundation for his vocals and solos.
The repertoire is quite strong, with Escobar performing a dozen songs that, while mostly familiar standards, are given fresh and lively treatments. A lightly swinging “Summer Wind” displays his warm voice and a bit of his trombone. “Steppin' Out With My Baby” begins like “Fascinatin' Rhythm” before taking a surprising turn. After a heartfelt version of “I've Got A Crush On You,” Escobar's trombones (reminiscent of the team of J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding) are showcased on an instrumental version of “Emily.” “Sway” and “Beyond The Sea” are heard in versions that can stand with any others from the past two decades.
“What A Wonderful World” is a bit surprising for, not only does Escobar play a bit of trumpet, but his voice proves flexible enough to have Louis Armstrong make a couple of cameo appearances. “Too Close For Comfort” features a particularly catchy arrangement, “Come Fly With Me” is worthy of Sinatra, and a bossa nova treatment of “S'Wonderful” is reminiscent of Joao Gilberto. “The Way You Look Tonight” and “Fly Me To The Moon” bring It's My Turn to a memorable close.
"It's My Turn" is easily recommended to fans of swinging singers, 1950s jazz, and high quality music in general. It is a perfect showcase for the musical talents of Joe Escobar.
Take a trip down memory lane with Joe Escobar as he spins a fantastic nostalgic throwback to the days of yesteryear with superb classic Jazz standards on his newly released album, “It’s My Turn.”
Sit back and enjoy the classic songs on this CD as they are performed by highly talented musicians who interlace these tunes with spectacular expertise. The caliber of Escobar’s voice is not only strong and polished but he has a definite style and grace that gives these tunes a fresh quality.
Kicking off the album, “Summer Wind,” is smooth Jazz at its best as Escobar croons with suave and debonair style. Another great song, “The Way You Look Tonight,” is smooth flowing with an added pizzazz of the trombone. The crisp piano complements the laid back vocals on the wonderful song, “Beyond the Sea.” If you like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, or Bobby Darin, then you will truly appreciate the delectable Jazz standards on the fabulous album, “It’s My Turn.”
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