Title - 'What Happened To Romance'
Artist - Steven Davis
Jazz crooner Steven Davis' brand new album, What Happened to Romance might just be as good as it gets in this genre here in the modern day. On his first big band album, he embodies a swinging retro original sound patterned after the Great American Songbook - and it works, each and every track, breathtakingly well.
Complete with a distinctive, and yet purposefully all-of-his-own vocal tone of a young Sinatra, Davis cruises through all 14 of these new album tracks like a warm knife through cold butter. Recorded in New York City where Davis' "chairman of the board" voice was buttressed by The After Midnight Orchestra, What Happened To Romance is a smart, tight, heartfelt and soulful collection of tracks that, once you have heard them, you'll be amazed to learn are actually not covers. Well, save for both 'All By Myself' and 'Day In, Day Out,' all the tracks are composed by Josh Charles, Alissa Moreno and Davis himself.
Which stands as a great testament to Davis' writing/composing skills that he - along with The 88s (the aforementioned Charles and Moreno) can create modern day Sinatraesque tracks that the great man himself would have killed to have been able to sing. Arranged and Conducted by Andy Farber, The After Midnight Orchestra is also comprised of original members of the Count Basie and Duke Ellington bands, which makes this whole sound so fully rounded, so warmly in-depth that its no wonder that Davis is getting attention from all corners of the music world these days.
A throwback to the jazz and swing genre that so enveloped an era that it soon became something we reflect on today as one of the warmest, safest to allow ourselves to fall into and relax, What Happened To Romance may well encapsulate The Rat Pack, or entities therein, but Davis comes through just enough on his own to ensure that the repertoire on show here is his own, cherished sound.