Vocalist Danny Freyer adds his own flavor to the big band swing repertoire on his debut solo album Must Be Love from Blue Bend Records. Bringing together a mixture of the refined and textured pipes liken to Joey Bishop and the bright timbres reflective of Dean Martin, Freyer’s voice is an ideal addition to the jazz milieu. His interpretation of such classic swing tunes as “Begin the Beguine” and “That Old Black Magic” display evidence of Latin accents with rhumba-tinged beats while dreamy love songs like “Stardust” and “Goodnight My Love” bolster a fluidity that blends chamber music with cabaret and ambient tunage. Freyer’s recording shows that he was born to be a jazz singer.
The smooth swing trimmings of “Good Night My Love” move sensually as twinkling keys crisscross over steady beats while Tony Guerrero’s trumpet flashes bubbly ringlets intermittently along the progressions. The shuffling trot of Evan Stone’s brushed drum strokes along “Bop Goes My Heart” is paired with the skipping stride of Matt Politano’s piano keys to create an upbeat mood as the splish-splashing in the cymbals enhance the track’s springy disposition. Freyer’s vocals are malleable and able to adjust to the trotting gait of Roger Shew’s vibrating bass notes in “Yardbird Suite/Let’s Make Babies, Baby” then modulate his timbres to enliven the alluring island atmospherics of “That Old Black Magic” with tingling keys kindling a cabaret radiance and the drum shimmies sustaining a rhumba vibe.
The candlelight flicker of the keys massaging “Promise Me You’ll Remember” supports the waltzing pace of Freyer’s vocals and switches to a bebop grain in “Lean Baby” as the horns blaze in regular intervals. Freyer shapes attractive vocal hooks to accentuate the ruminating lyrics of “Must Be Love or Else I’m Drunk” as he confesses, “With you, I can fly to the moon and the stars above / My feet feel like they’re floating off the ground.” The buoyant strut of the brushed drum strokes ambling along “Tanked as a Fish, Buzzed, Bombed, and Blitzed” has a familiar jazz style emblematic of Louie Bellson then flows into a rhumba-based rhythm in “Begin the Beguine” as the slinky glide of Phil Parlapiano’s accordion produces a romantic ambience. Serpentine horns and glistening keys illuminate “Stardust” and willowy strings imbue a dreamy atmospheric through “Goodnight My Love.”
The chamber music padding in the tracks is fringed in smooth swing trimmings and styled for cabaret audiences. Must Be Love is a blend of nostalgia and vintage era jazz with a modern flare showing that Danny Freyer has his own way of performing swing music and he makes it entirely enjoyable.
Danny Freyer – vocals, Evan Stone – drums, Matt Politano -piano, Roger Shew – bass, Jeff Elwood – saxophone, Tony Guerrero – trumpet, Mark Visher – clarinet, Ben Devitt – trombone, Dannielle DeAndrea – background vocals, Phil Parlapiano – accordion, Michelle Kim – violin, Bryan Gonzalez – viola, Suji Kang – cello, Ai Nihira – violin
Good Night My Love, Bop Goes My Heart, That Old Black Magic, Yardbird Suite/Let’s Make Babies Baby, Lean Baby, Promise Me You’ll Remember, Must Be Love or Else I’m Drunk, Tanked as a Fish Buzzed Bombed and Blitzed, Begin the Beguine, Stardust, Goodnight My Love