Ignored, Maligned, and Forgotten Music

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We're in This Love Together - Tony Gulizia Trio

Legbamel Not-Pop

I came into possession of an album of jazz and swing standards from The Tony Giulizia Trio. When I first heard him sing I thought it was intended to be a spoof of bad lounge singers and I kept waiting for a punch line. It never came.

Now, I hesitated to post this because he and his family are respected jazz musicians and teachers thereof in Vail, Colorado. The ski resort is hardly known as a hotbed of world-class jazz musicians but honestly I hope his students don’t take vocal advice from Tony.

Was that too mean? I just get frustrated when I hear someone record music I love with all of the feeling that most people bring to washing the dishes. If you don’t love the song then sing something else! But don’t put out an album of standards that don’t move you just because you think it’s expected of you.

To be fair, the album opens with a passable instrumental. In fact, if there were no vocals this would be a decent record. Alas, it was not to be. Not only does Mr. Gulizia offer a soulless version of The Frim Fram Sauce (one of my favorite songs, by the way), he leers at a Satin Doll and mangles Fly Me to the Moon so badly it could be subtitled “In Udder Murds”. It is clear that he fancies himself Frank Sinatra reincarnated. He is not.

It’s not that he has a horrible voice. He does a nice job of covering Al Jarreau's We’re in This Love Together, after all. It’s that he tries too hard on so many of the songs to throw embellishments where they don’t belong. He adds “scat” so stiff and rehearsed that it’s almost embarrassing to hear.

He should stick with straightforward singing and leave the vocal gymnastics to people who can stick the landing. And if he doesn’t have a Brooklyn accent he shouldn’t try to imitate one to sound like someone he isn’t.

We're in this love together by Tony Gulizia on Grooveshark

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