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A Song for You

Kenny Rankin

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Album Review

The great Kenny Rankin makes a subtle shift in stylistic focus on this label debut, titled A Song for You. The recording shows just how rewarding the marriage of songs from the Great American Songbook with the smooth jazz style can be when played by a talent of Rankin's stature. His singing explores new musical trails on such great compositions as Harold Arlen's "When the Sun Comes Out," the Lorenz Hart favorite "She Was Too Good to Me," and "Love Walked In" by George & Ira Gershwin. Rankin also reprises his vocal version of "'Round Midnight," the Thelonious Monk standard previously released on his 2001 CD Haven't We Met?. This vocal version is performed with harmonically viable guitar strumming, with Rankin making it a much easier task than one who may be trying to de-emphasize the difficult piano stylings associated with Monk. Other songs deserving noteworthy mention are the subtle sensuality of "Spanish Harlem" and "I've Just Seen a Face" by Lennon/McCartney. The results of this great variety of musical planning are distinctly even and make for nearly an hour of great smooth jazz fused with excellent material from the songbooks of some of the world's greatest composers.

Biography

Born: 10 February 1940 in New York, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A pop and standards singer during his long career, Kenny Rankin debuted in 1967 with his first album, Mind Dusters, which featured the soft rock hit "Peaceful." Over the course of the early '70s, Rankin slowly built up a following with a steady stream of records and performances that balanced originals, new songs, and standards. As the decade drew to a close, he began to return to his singer/songwriter roots, particularly on After the Roses, his 1980 debut for Atlantic Records. He continued to perform...
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A Song for You, Kenny Rankin
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