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Eric Comstock: No One Knows

If you travel the cabaret matrix from, say, the old school sophistication of Bobby Short to the retro-contemporary polish of Steve Ross (admittedly, a short trip), at about the midway point you’ll find singer-pianist Eric Comstock. Yet capturing the right image of Comstock requires conjuring more than just smoky boites and show tunes and witty repartee performed with dinner-jacket elegance. For, as evident on all his albums, but most keenly demonstrated on this third and latest outing, his jazz smarts as are finely tuned as his showman instincts.

Vocally, Comstock’s a bit of a chameleon, variously evoking Chet Baker, Mel Torme and Mark Murphy. Stylistically, though, he’s most akin to the late, great Matt Dennis, who recorded a terrific series of mid-’50s albums that were like the musical equivalent of a mink-lined Corvette Stingray. Like Dennis, Comstock has a voice that flows as smoothly as rye and sweet vermouth over ice. The cherry in this particular cocktail of pop tunes and familiar standards, skillfully mixed with more obscure ditties, is a nonpareil assemblage of sidemen led by drummer Matt Wilson and bassist Peter Washington. As Comstock suggests on the disc’s fifth track, jump for joy.

Originally Published