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Everything Old Is New Again

Daryl Ott

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Customer Reviews

Everything Old is New Again

Daryl Ott is well known in the Washington DC area as an operatic baritone, the consummate Rigoletto star, renowned for his powerful voice and expressiveness. “Everything Old is New Again” shows a different side of Ott, or more precisely, casts his expressiveness and humor in the light of his ragtime piano interpretations of 21 Vaudeville-era oldies. Included here are many of the songs you’d expect – “Summertime,” “Lady be Good,” “Someone to watch over me,” and “Lazy Bones,” for instance – but also many others surely unheard for many years. Songs like “Mean to Me,” the disquieting “Black and Blue,” and my new favorite song “Do Nothing til you Hear from Me” also convey the popular genres of the first third or so of the 20th century. Ott captures these popular hits from Fats Waller, Hoagy Carmichael, the Gershwins and others in his own playful, ragtime style. Almost like a player piano, Ott plays with a driving, relentless rhythmic precision – until he decides not to, and surprises you with a sudden ritard, a double-time (as in “Russian Lullaby”), or a roller coaster rhythm as in his mischievous “Honeysuckle Rose.” And, while largely ragtime in style, his piano seems to sneak in the odd boogie, blues, or modern jazz licks just enough to keep you startled. Much of Ott’s classical training emerges in his vocals, though often with much more high head voice than we are used to hearing from him on the opera stage. This approach creates a more Vaudevillian context for his songs, and allows him to mix voicings within the same phrase. You will greatly enjoy this album on your iPod, for its crisp recording, trickster rhythms and the playful singing of this versatile performer.

Everything Old Is New Again, Daryl Ott
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