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Hooray For Love

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Album Review

A one-time adult contemporary star — his 1991 eponymous debut was produced by Glen Ballard and, not long afterward, he made Nick Lowe a millionaire thanks to his cover of "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love and Understanding" on The Bodyguard soundtrack — Curtis Stigers long ago established himself as a skilled jazz singer and his 2014 set, Hooray for Love, is perhaps his most traditional record yet. Light on originals — the title track and "Give Your Heart to Me" are the only tunes that bear his credits — and also skimpy on the kinds of unexpected covers that distinguished his new millennial records (only Steve Earle's "Valentine's Day" fits that bill), Hooray for Love is anchored on the songs that everybody knows and loves: "You Make Me Feel So Young," performed here as a duet with Cyrille Aimee, "The Way You Look Tonight," "A Matter of Time," and "If I Were a Bell." As recognizable as these songs are, Stigers doesn't seem stifled by their reputation. The intimate setting — featuring no more than pianist Matthew Fries, guitarist Matt Munisteri, bassist Cliff Schmitt, drummer Keith Hall, and trumpeter John "Scrapper" Sneider, who also produces — allows Stigers to be limber and he's also happy to fade into the background and let his band just play. This looseness is what keeps Hooray for Love so engaging: Stigers isn't simply enjoying singing, he's enjoying playing with his band.

Biography

Born: 19 October 1965 in Hollywood, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Singer/songwriter Curtis Stigers' interest in music began as a teen in Boise, playing in punk and blues bands as well as receiving classical training in clarinet and saxophone in high school. After graduation, Stigers moved to New York to pursue rock music, but soon found himself more at home in the city's blues and jazz clubs. He attracted label attention as the saxophonist/vocalist of a jazz trio, signing a deal with Arista and releasing two albums for the label: 1991's self-titled, multi-platinum...
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Hooray For Love, Curtis Stigers
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