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Peter Eldridge: Pop, Life

Vocalist Peter Eldridge applies pop values and lyrical smarts on the Latin-tinged Mad Heaven

Peter Eldridge

To Peter Eldridge, a great song is one that resonates in its barest incarnation. “When the melody and lyrics can carry it, and you don’t have to add a lot of bells and whistles to make it sound like something, that’s the idea of a great song,” he explains while sitting in a rehearsal room at the Manhattan School of Music, where he’s been teaching for the past 18 years. For all his acclaim as a jazz singer and pianist, Eldridge loves pop songs for their succinct narratives. “I like the idea of being taken on this emotional three-minute ride,” he says.

Pop plays an integral part in Eldridge’s music. A superb musical alchemist, his new disc, Mad Heaven (Palmetto), finds Eldridge synthesizing modern jazz with not only pop but also R&B and Latin music-especially Brazilian. The results are varied and dynamic but also aesthetically focused, as Eldridge’s mellifluous baritone and urbane lyrics brim with pop accessibility.

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