Don Marshall | The Lyrics Are in the Notes... Just Smile

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Easy Listening: American Popular Song Easy Listening: Lounge Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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The Lyrics Are in the Notes... Just Smile

by Don Marshall

Great songs with great lyrics, but no vocalist? An alto sax enunciates the words/lyrics as would a vocalist. The results are of a rich, musical pastoral quality with beautiful sounds piled on more beautiful sounds in vibrant arrangements.
Genre: Easy Listening: American Popular Song
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Here's That Rainy Day
5:03 $0.99
2. What's New
5:38 $0.99
3. Alfie
5:39 $1.25
4. Dindi
4:14 $0.99
5. Stardust
6:05 $0.99
6. I'll Be Seeing You
3:48 $0.99
7. In Trutina (feat. Dory Rigopoulos Kafoure & Mike McCoy)
3:10 $0.99
8. Gentle Rain
5:08 $0.99
9. In My Life
3:53 $0.99
10. Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most
6:36 $0.99
11. Smile
4:16 $1.25
12. When You Wish Upon a Star / You Are My Sunshine
5:05 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The plan was for a quasi-jazz American songbook. The result is a wonderfully distinct accomplishment where Don Marshall and his alto saxophone take you through a great list of popular, indelible songs in a way you can enjoy and won't soon forget.

Marshall's idea was to use his saxophone to "play the words" to songs usually delivered by vocalists. He even had the lyrics available to be sure to respond on sax. He did that, to the point that after a few songs, and during three recording sessions, the words were all matched, having a sax "enunciating the words/lyrics as would a vocalist." The results are of a rich, musical pastoral quality with beautiful sounds piled on more beautiful sounds in vibrant arrangements, all in tune with tasteful volume. The uniquely smooth blends are quite different for these times, all about tone, assonance and resulting in chords and harmonies.

The world of musicians in Southern California was tapped throughout the project for varied roles that made for quite a team and product. First there were three recording sessions in greater San Diego with mix sessions and mastering performed at Capitol Recording Studios in Los Angeles. Engineers John Hendrickson and Peter Sprague provided excellent work. Sprague is known country wide for his phenomenal jazz guitar work, while Hendrickson lists George Benson, Wayne Shorter, Dr John, Marcus Miller and many others. He continued his career at Capitol Records as a Staff Engineer in 1997 and continued to work with such clients as Diana Krall, Paul McCartney, Diane Schuur, Bobby Womack and many others.

While Marshall's sax plays the unifying instrument for all, some incredibly distinctive plays also stand out:
A beautiful piano opening by Tom Barabas leads to the melody by Marshall carrying the unforgettable "What's New" lyrics.
The two combined nicely again on Dindi. As is the case throughout, not a word is missed by Marshall's saxophone notes;
Alfie has a distinctive opening in which a French horn, played by Mike McCoy of San Diego, takes you where trombones cannot go. Paired with Barabas and Marshall, the three stand out in a truly different version that is simply so nice. The precision and tightness of the notes jump up--piano, horn, sax--with a particularly exceptional close;
Vocalist Dory Rigopoulos Kafoure is featured in a haunting "In Trutina" matched with McCoy's stirring horn accompaniment;
There is an appropriate closing, "When You Wish Upon A Star," that features Barabas and Marshall bringing it all home.

Artistic creations can be wonderful, like the notes blended in this album created by people who clearly share the same musical understanding. Artists made decisions along the way that worked. That doesn't always happen. Listen--here it did.

[Notes: Henry Mendoza, journalist LA Times (retired), currently professor of journalism, Cal State Fullerton]



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The lyrics are in the Notes

Revival of "Dinner Jazz"
I love this album because it takes me back to yester-year when you could tune into your favorite Jazz station after work and listen to soft cool jazz. Some thing modern yet renditions of the old standards done in a new soft jazz tempo. This Album does that for me. I just love their recording of "Alfie" brings back so many pleasant memories.