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Last First Kiss

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Last First Kiss

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Performer Notes:

  • Personnel: Tony DeSare (vocals, piano); Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar); Harry Allen, Bob Malach (tenor saxophone); Glenn Drewes (trumpet); Keith O’Quinn (trombone); Tedd Firth (piano, Hammond b-3 organ); Mike Lee (bass instrument); Brian Czach (drums).
  • Last First Kiss builds nicely upon vocalist/pianist Tony DeSare’s superb 2005 debut album, Want You. A charming presence on the microphone with classic silver-screen good looks and a singer/songwriter’s soul, DeSare not only updates such classic American popular song standards here as “Gee Baby Ain’t I Good to You” and “How Deep Is the Ocean?,” but also reinterprets such modern-day hits as “Kiss,” turning Prince’s iconic funk track into a slowed-down organ-driven shuffle. Similarly invigorating, DeSare dims the lights on Carole King’s usually upbeat “I Feel the Earth Move” and delivers instead a brooding, Miles Davis-influenced afterglow version. It’s just this kind of postmodern niftiness that stops Last First Kiss from being yet another solid yet predictable neo-crooner outing and turns it into a truly surprising listen. Also a pleasant surprise is DeSare’s own songwriting, and here he showcases his knack for both classic jazz standard-influenced songcraft, as on the poignant “I’ll Never Have Enough of You,” as well as more contemporary rock-influenced writing, as evidenced by the sweetly melodic and bittersweet title track. Of course, at his core DeSare is a supremely gifted interpreter of jazz standards, and his softly melodic, straight-ahead take on “There Will Never Be Another You” mainlines heartbreak to your soul. Throw in a stellar backing ensemble, including bassist and co-writer Mike Lee, guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, and tenor saxophonist Harry Allen, and Last First Kiss enters the race as an early contender for one of the best releases of 2007. ~ Matt Collar

Professional Reviews: Down Beat (p.60) – 3 stars out of 5 — “[A]n intimate affair….DeSare doesn’t need to rely on other songwriters to get his message across.”

JazzTimes (p.82) – “DeSare’s jaunty ‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me is distinctly Sinatra-esque and his stripped-bare ‘How Deep Is the Ocean’ is stunning in its heartfelt honesty.”

Producer: Tony DeSare, Billy Terrell

Format: CD (1 Disc); Stereo

Country: USA

Studio/Live: Studio

Release Date: 23 January, 2007

Label: Telarc

Dimensions: 14.6 × 1.9 × 12.7 centimeters (0.06 kg)

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