Interestingly, vocalist and pianist Tony DeSare’s latest pays tribute to the pre-digital days of radio, yet seems ideally suited for iPod technology. DeSare’s intent with Radio Show was to replicate the experience of driving down the highway with the radio blaring, flipping from station to station and from era to era. So, of the two-dozen tracks, 11 are comprised of DJ patter (provided by comedian Joe Piscopo) inserted to string together 13 covers and originals.
If, however, you choose to edit out the interstices, you’re still left with a terrific album. And, frankly, DeSare needs no gimmicks. From his boisterous “Get Happy,” bouncy, Bobby Darin-esque “Lazy River” and buttery, Sinatra-worthy “All or Nothing at All,” to his hard-rockin’ “Johnny B. Goode,” movingly anthemic “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” sexy, shimmering reinterpretation of Phil Collins and Philip Bailey’s “Easy Lover” and clever, bossa-driven reworking of New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle” (with Jane Monheit along for the ride), DeSare effortlessly captures the combined appeal of Harry Connick Jr. and Michael Bublé.
And, again like Connick and Bublé, he continues to mightily impress as a songwriter, demonstrating his marvelous dexterity with the easy-swingin’ “A Little Bit Closer,” the silken, reverential “To Touch a Woman” and the wide-eyed romantic wonderment of “A Stranger’s Eyes.”