Friday, March 6, 2015

Paul Marinaro: Without a Song

Paul Marinaro Music
By Ric Bang
Buy CD: Without a Song

I grew up during the years of big bands and their vocalists. Who can forget the likes of Sinatra, Torme, Eckstine, Darin and dozens of others? Many of them began as “swooners,” but as they aged, they became swingers. 

Vocalist Paul Marinaro’s father, Joseph, sang in that style; today, Paul sounds like a grown-up version of his dad. This album is a labor of love by Paul and his musical friends, as they revisit some of those past gems, along with several of today’s better ballads.

One of Paul’s gimmicks incorporates dubbing old home recordings that his father made years ago, and blending them with his own renditions. The result is both polished and endearing.

This album’s backup artists also are way above average: Chris Sargent, Chris White, Judy Roberts and Tom Vaitsas, piano; Andy Brown, guitar; Joe Policastro, bass; Jon Deitemyer, drums; Greg Fishman, tenor sax; and Marielle De Rocca-Serra, violin. Paul’s vocal prowess is excellent, but the band deserves credit for much of the CD’s total impact.

Paul does ballads beautifully. His voice is clear and expressive, and he’s particularly adept at adding variations to the melodic lines. And, to avoid obvious duplication during multiple repetitions of a given verse, he includes solo choruses by his sidemen/women, all of which fit in nicely.

This may not be the pure, swingin’ jazz that I favor, but it's nonetheless very enjoyable.

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