By Tony Adams
I strongly recommend this beautiful album by equally beautiful New Yorker Eric Yves Garcia. And before I go any further, let me give you the good news that you can download it here on QNY for free!
Let's get the obvious out of the way. He's handsome, no? We all harbor private speculation about who would play us in a movie version of our lives. Eric tops my personal list for the musical version of that assignment. He's an actor/singer who weekly entertains the guys at the piano of The Townhouse at 236 East 58th Street. You'll find him there on Mondays, 6-9:30PM. (Check out his other regular NYC gigs.)
I'm picky about coverage of American Songbook and jazz standards. Love the purity of Ella Fitzgerald, the roughness of Etta James, the velvety Diana Krall, the dreamy Chet Baker, the accents on Mel Tormé and Michael Bublé, the sadness of Billie Holiday, and the quirky surprise of Cyndi Lauper, Kate Bush, Joni Mitchell or even Miss Ross. (Hate everything by Bobby Short and Rufus Wainwright.) A good cover of a classic is like a bus driver who tells his passengers "I'm taking a different route today, folks. Hope you like it." The detour takes you home, but the scenery is fresh. "The Chance To Sing" is a spectacular detour you'll want to take more than once.
Eric's delivery is bright, clean and spirited. I don't think we should fault him because his voice doesn't have that "I've been through recovery" wisdom of the rebuilt Rosemary Clooney, for example. He's rather a classic crooner, at this point in his career. Just better than most. I was especially satisfied by the perfect balance and interplay between Eric's piano playing and his voice. Neither bends to the other and both are equally dazzling. It's really more of a duet rather than voice with accompaniment.
Hope you enjoy this as much as I do, and please stop by his FB fan page. I've got a hunch that we'll be seeing and hearing a lot more from Eric.
I've included a shirtless pic after the jump because I know you want it.