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Love Song: The Music of Arlen, Porter, Van Heusen, and Howe

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Album Review

Pianist Ted Howe's third CD for Summit is a bit of a switch from his earlier efforts, as he mixes standards with a series of original compositions with lyrics by Rebekah Miller, featuring jazz vocalist Giacomo Gates or film/stage singer Lainie Kazan on about half of the tracks. Howe's chops are never in doubt, as he has proved himself as a soloist and arranger with his previous Summit CDs and his compositions are equally engaging. But Miller's lyrics aren't all that memorable, though Gates makes a game effort and even adds a bit of playful scat to "I'll Remember Your Smile," though there is no saving the limp ballad "Midnight on the Beach." Kazan's vocals are more pop-oriented and she shows her age with a bit of vibrato in spots. Better are the instrumentals like Cole Porter's neglected "True Love" and a pair of tunes featuring Gates with Howe adding a vocal behind him, including an unusual setting of "Come Rain or Come Shine" and Porter's popular "Let's Do It."

Love Song: The Music of Arlen, Porter, Van Heusen, and Howe, Ted Howe
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