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Mark Winkler: I’m With You: Mark Winkler Sings Bobby Troup (Café Pacific)

A review of the Los Angeles singer/songwriter's second album of Bobby Troup songs

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Mark Winkler, I'm With You
The cover of I’m With You: Mark Winkler Sings Bobby Troup by Mark Winkler

Mark Winkler wanted another bite of the apple, and Bobby Troup’s zesty book of rhythm patter, swooning ballads, and novelty numbers provides plenty of creative nourishment. His second album devoted to the songs of the jazz-steeped pianist, songwriter, singer, and actor, I’m With You offers a welcome reminder of Troup’s sturdy book. Winkler’s 2003 album Sings Bobby Troup covered some of the same ground (the albums share four songs). Considering Troup’s voluminous oeuvre and the obscurity that has befallen several of his early hits, some of the repetition seems unnecessary, but each song on I’m With You gets a thoughtful arrangement that brings out its particular character.

A prolific Los Angeles songwriter and singer with rhythmically assured phrasing and a warm, affable tone, Winkler effectively highlights the strengths of his fellow tunesmith. He also makes excellent use of an enviable cast of L.A. players. Whenever an instrumentalist stands out, a glance at the credits reveals why. Ah, that’s Rickey Woodard’s tasty tenor sax on Tamir Hendelman’s briskly swinging arrangement of Troup’s lovely “Please Belong to Me,” and Anthony Wilson’s lustrous guitar on his own chart of the swooning “Their Hearts Were Full of Spring.”

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Andrew Gilbert

Andrew Gilbert is a Berkeley-based freelancer who has written about arts and culture since 1989 for numerous publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, East Bay Express, Berkeleyside, and KQED’s California Report. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he experienced a series of mind-blowing epiphanies listening to jazz masters at Kuumbwa Jazz Center in the late 1980s, performances he remembers more vividly than the gigs he saw last month.