Spencer Day 2014
Pop-jazz purveyor tightens his grip on the classic songbook and glues a few pages of his own into it.
Having started as a standards performer, this artist has never shied away from bringing these into the studio, and his 2004’s debut, “Introducing…”, proved Day as both an original force and a fine interpreter of a famous tune. Spencer’s fifth record, released independently after a fruitious stint with Concord, ups the covers quotient to the half of the record only to counterbalance the highly imaginative, seductively brassed-up reading of CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL’s “Bad Moon Rising” with a not-so-swaggering, if still swinging, take on “These Boots Are Made For Walking.”
Yet it’s not the borrowed material, it’s originals like the catchy “Don’t Let Me In” that command attention here. They’re not so much aligned stylistically with the rest of it as their writer assumes – save for the social-conscientious doo-wop-adorned rockabilly of “Naturally” – but opener “Missing Tonight” and the finger-poppin'”Wait Till Your Alone” jive just as romantically over the organ undercurrent. So it’s Day’s scintillating slowing-down of THE YOUNG RASCALS’ “Groovin'” which goes under this template, rather than other way round, while PETER AND GORDON’s “World Without Love” gets acoustically reconnected to Macca‘s original intent, and “You Don’t Know You’re Lonely” rides a memorable calypso crunch.
Here’s the other side of the titular break, yet Day doesn’t go for such a forceful approach. Gentle and easy, the album oozes pleasure all around.