Phil Kidder: Simple Pleasures

Either this CD is a joke, as implied by the vocalist’s last name, or a misbegotten vanity production. Singing with the spare accompaniment of only two guitars nakedly exposes a performer’s strengths and weaknesses. Few if any of the former are noticeable here but the latter are abundantly evident: a thin, piping, unattractive instrument; clueless phrasing and time; a hackneyed repertoire (“Body and Soul,” “How High the Moon”); and dire intonation. Guitarists John Paris and Dave Onderdonk stoically supply intimate, attentive backing despite Kidder’s painful vocalizing. Plugging into the expiring lounge music fad, Simple Pleasures’ cover photograph depicts the Warhol-ringer singer surrounded by models smoking cigarettes and sipping cocktails. You’ll want to fortify yourself with several of each before putting this one on your CD player.