I’ve always enjoyed the unique sound of your baritone. Not only are you a quality singer and performer, but your voice has an identifiable sound; which is always a plus in this genre of music. In pop music they want to clone everyone for sales prospects to the un-washed teen market, but in the GASB standards genre, it’s a plus to have a “sound.” You’ve never sounded better.
On the quality of the recording… You have achieved near perfection with the audio quality of this recording. I guess the only national-level album I’ve heard lately was the Barbra Streisand release this year (2010), but yours is absolutely the equal in orchestral quality, audio clarity, instrumental pan, etc. Wow.
After spending weeks on it, I’m sure there are still things you’d like to change – we artists are never satisfied – but I would put this product up against anything I’ve heard on that level.
The consonants are all clearly there for anyone who cares. The snare accents are gentle but clearly audible behind the orchestra. The trumpet solo (and others) sounds to me as if I was in the auditorium listening to an acoustic instrument. And this is being heard on my computer’s external speakers!
On Ron Abel’s arrangements… They are more than just beautiful orchestral stylings; they are artistically imaginative and use the available instrumentation to best advantage, while adding enough musical whimsy to delight the ear (e.g. the horse whinny on the end of “Don’t Fence Me In”). This recording shows him to be among the top rank in his end of the business. Bravo, Ron Abel!
On the subject of musicality… my favorite “lick” of yours is the minor 3rd to 9th melody line to close “Begin The Beguine”! Diana Krall would’ve given you a Standing O on that one. And while we’re talking about musical twists, you’ve got to tell me what the time sig was for the transitions between verses on “Just One of Those Things!”
Bravo to you Rocky!