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Mark Jennett: Everybody Says Don’t

There are great jazz singers. There are great cabaret singers. Then there’s the coterie of uniquely gifted stylists who straddle the border comfortably, seamlessly blending keen jazz instincts with the storytelling élan that fuels cabaret. Ann Hampton Callaway is one, Ian Shaw another. It’s a rather exclusive club. And its membership now grows by one with the addition of Britain’s Mark Jennett.

Actually, Jennett has been a staple of the London club scene for years, appearing regularly at top spots like Ronnie Scott’s and the Vortex. And he’s recorded one previous album, The Way I Am, a fine collection of standards produced by vocalist Anita Wardell five years ago. But this overdue sophomore disc truly marks Jennett’s arrival. As an interpreter, he echoes Shaw’s delightfully curious blend of breezy insouciance and laser-sharp intelligence, yet hints of Jim Caruso’s showmanship and Michael Feinstein’s charm are just as evident.

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