Thursday, March 31, 2011

Scot Crandal releases album with portion of proceeds to benefit PHAME

Scot Crandal’s newly released album, the aptly titled Now & Again, is a compelling reminder that a well-matched marriage of words and music is what makes the world of love songs go round. The album features eleven original songs composed by Crandal, with lyrics by Nancy Jerrick. Crandal provides stylish vocals and piano accompaniment, recorded at Dead Aunt Thelma’s Studio in Portland, Oregon by well-known recording engineer Josh Millman. Music journalist Mike Roots rates the album 5 out of 5 stars and writes, “As ambitious as Now & Again is in its pursuit of the lofty goal of finding a fitting and comfortable place within the canon of American standards and jazz vocal pieces, it succeeds in a marvelous way.” Music journalist Bryan Rodgers rates the album 4 out of 5 stars and writes, “Crandal instantly becomes an amalgam of classic crooners. His voice has the arresting power of Etta James, the smoothness of Kurt Elling, and the personality of a Bacharach or Sinatra. He’s diverse too, moving easily from the impassioned blues mood of “Bad Storm Comin’ In” to the regal title track, which unfolds with lovelorn, cinematic drama.” In creating the album, Crandal and Jerrick hearken back to the tradition of the Great American Songbook, where sophisticated lyrics and musical expression go hand in hand. “Our aim is to capture the varied moods and styles of the time-honored classics, while also expressing some of the fresh ideas of today,” Jerrick says. “In these songs, I used mostly traditional chord progressions, occasionally infused with more modern harmonic and melodic ideas.” Crandal says. He adds, “I wanted to create something intimate, like the listener is just a table or two away, listening to me play the piano and sing. I think the recording captures this nuance really well.” The songs run the gamut from love lost, in the bittersweet “No Regrets” and torchy “Any Day Now” to love found, in the pop-influenced “Loving Just You” and upbeat “Now You’ve Heard It from Me.” “Summer Heat” expresses the pain of parted lovers, while “So Much, So Fast, So Soon” plays with the surprise of unexpected romance. Together, the album’s songs capture the longing, disappointment, and elation that are part and parcel of the love canon. Now & Again is available through iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon, Bandcamp and other leading music retailers. Five percent of all sale proceeds will be donated to PHAME, a Portland fine arts academy for developmentally disabled adults. An album release party will be held on Sunday, May 1, 2:30 p.m. at Doc George’s Jazz Kitchen, 4605 NE Fremont, Portland, OR 97213, 503-287-7067; Crandal will perform many of the songs, and CDs and download cards will be available for sale.

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