Songs for Swinging Sophisticates: Volume Two
On Bradley Williams' second exhaustive collection of the most popular bossa nova, bop and swing tunes of the last century, the Chicago pianist, who sharpened his chops playing with Woody Herman's Thundering Herd, pays tribute to jazz composers ranging from Duke Ellington to Earl Hines to Burt Bacharach. When Williams settles for safe interpretations, the results can be tedious. But when Williams taps into his boppier side, the music takes off. Highlights: Bronislaw Kaper's "Green Dolphin Street" is injected with cleverness and verve by saxman Rich Fudoli, and Ray Charles' "Hallelujah I Love Him So" features vocalist Patricia Mosley mixing gospel and Bourbon Street for a sexy blend.