If you’ve heard at all about singer-pianist John Proulx (rhymes with “true”), then you’ve surely heard he sounds a lot like the young, cherubic Chet Baker. Indeed, the specter of the pre-ravaged Baker and his intoxicating atonality is in constant evidence. But there are significant enough differences to make Proulx intriguingly unique. Where Baker’s distingue vocals always sounded strangely detached, as if he was transmitting each lyric from some strange, enchanted land, Proulx is front and center, overflowing with fresh zeal and sparkling energy. There’s a hint of the eager hipsterism of Mark Murphy circa 1955, when the future king of cool was struggling to find his groove at Decca. Add an assuredly light piano style that’s equal parts Paul Smith and Eddie Higgins, and Proulx’s prospects seem mighty bright.
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