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Frank Singer | Off The Top: Standards 1

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Off The Top: Standards 1

by Frank Singer

12 classic jazz standards performed on solo jazz guitar. Mellow, blue and beautiful.
Genre: Jazz: Smooth Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. There Will Never Be Another You
5:39 album only
2. Manha De Carnaval
7:00 album only
3. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
6:47 album only
4. Have You Met Miss Jones
6:10 album only
5. Watch What Happens
6:16 album only
6. My Romance
6:31 album only
7. All The Things You Are
5:37 album only
8. Miami Beach Rhumba
7:07 album only
9. Body And Soul
5:10 album only
10. Straight, No Chaser
4:51 album only
11. Maiden Voyage
7:53 album only
12. Donna Lee
2:27 album only


Album Notes
oFF tHE tOP: standards 1 offers up a smooth delicacy of jazz standards on solo guitar. From the opening phrase of There Will Never Be Another You, to the closing riffs of Donna Lee, there is music; music that can be soothing with conversation and dinner, sweet with romance, and still keep your foot tapping.

You will hear the saturation of yesterday's swing, and the respect for the timeless vehicles of that era. Building on the styles of guitarists Joe Pass and Wes Montgomery, Singer brings you this tradition of jazz guitar playing on standards 1.

It is also music which you will play again and again. Jazz time, the essence of the music's heart, is here in full swing, and in rhythmic latin beats. You can follow the tune, while the spontaneous performance leads you from variation to variation.

oFF tHE tOP: standards 1 is an album that can carry you through many parts of your day. Order a copy, sit back, relax and enjoy 72 minutes of peaceful music.


Frank Singer has performed, written, arranged and taught music for over 30 years. A summa cum laude graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, he continued his studies with Charlie Banacos, instructor for performers such as Mike Stern, Jerry Bergonzi and Bruce Gertz.

His performance credits include the Erie Philharmonic with Arturo Sandoval, Grease featuring Debbie Gibson, Miss America Show featuring Vanessa Williams, shows with Eddie Fisher, Jack Jones and Cab Calloway, regional groups One World Tribe, Tito Jazz Group, Cat's A Bear, 3bop Jazz Group, Dave Stevens Big Band, and many others.

Awards include the Richard Levy award for composition, finalist in the World Music Catagory of the John Lennon songwriting contest for the title track of One World Tribe's first CD 'Unity and Diversity', and a commission to write the string quartet 'Generations' for the Erie PA Bicentenial celebration from Gannon University. The first two performances of this piece featured Frank Singer on Guitar, replacing the traditional role of the viola.

In additiion to this Compact Disc, Frank appears on the CDs: GENERATIONS STRING QUARTET [Composer, guitarist],

For more on the artist, visit http://www.franksinger.com.
For more on the CD, visit http://www.standards-1.com



to write a review

Maurice Haltom

Very tasty, revealing and entertaining.
This CD is a great idea, i.e., taking standards and opening them up to new interpretation and improvisation. Please do more of the same.

Ceci Bopp

One of the Solo Guitar CD's that I have ever heard.
As a life long fan of all types of solo guitar music (from classical to Segovia to Jimmy Paige) I found this music to be a beautiful and pleasant surprise. Mr. Singer has the gift. Does he ever cross the border and perform in Connecticut? I'll be in line for tickets. This was a completely enjoyable music experience that I have already shared with many friends.

James McQuiston

...a guitar in [his] hand is a living, breathing instrument...
Frank Singer – Standards 1 / 12 Tracks / 2001 Naked Kitty Productions / http://www.franksinger.com / frank@franksinger.com / Reviewed 13 April 2004


Review URL: http://www.neufutur.com/Reviews/franksinger.html


Jazz standards. Lets see what I could be less well versed in. Christian Zydeco Music? Naked albino yodeling? Actually, I’ve taken a survey course in jazz, and while I can’t say that I am familiar with any of these tracks besides “Maiden Voyage”, each track sounds as expertly played and recorded as some of the originals must have been. While each of these tracks have considerably longer run times than most popular music today, the nuanced playing of Frank is such that one can listen to seven or eight minutes of just [his] guitar playing without being bored in the least. “Standards 1” may not be as experimental as Heavy Metal Jazz Concepts, but Frank plays at a much higher level and stays much more close to the originals than those individuals who created the aforementioned album. I wouldn’t’ suggest this album for someone that is wanting a high-tempo, up-beat CD, but rather for an individual who wants to slip off their shoes, sit down, or zone out to this music. ||

What really astounds me are the incredible myriad of noises that Frank can draw from [his] guitar, whether it be the traditional sound, a more horn-like riffs, or even something that is comparable to a piano. Frank Singer is human, and it almost seems in some tracks that there are limitations to what a guitar can do – in “Have You Met Miss Jones” some of the guitar lines seem forced, and are a stark contrast to the rest of the guitar riffs which mesh well with the track. Overall, there aren't any real points of contention on this disc – “Standards 1” is much more like a Opera with different movements than any old punk CD with 12 or 13 cuts. ||

Frank Singer is a very busy individual, and [his] contributions to the number of bands that [he] is in is due to the high level of professionality that [he] exerts on “Standards 1”. While none of the tracks that Frank plays on this disc are [his], they are still imbued with [his] spirit in the sense that a guitar in [his] hand is a living, breathing instrument. Check out a number of other projects by Singer to unearth some of [his] other facets, such as Tito, J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm, and One World Tribe. ||

Rating: 6.0/10 |

Top Track: Maiden Voyage, Have You Met Miss Jones


James McQuiston |
Editor, NeuFutur and InterStitial Magazines. |
http://www.neufutur.com |


Just Jazz Guitar

couples a good, traditional sound with a high level of technical facility
OFF THE TOP Frank Singer |
Naked Kitty Productions NKP OTS1 2001 |
www.franksinger.com |||

This self-produced CD is described as "solo jazz guitar from off the top of the head."
To create it, Singer has put together a collection of standards that includes "There Will Never be Another You," "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," and "All The Things You Are." |

Singer's arrangements are harmonically solid.
Perhaps most notable, he couples a good, traditional sound with a high level of technical facility that he displays via quick, arpeggiated sections. |

Thanks to Singer's inclusion of bossa novas "Manha De Carnival" (sic) and "Watch What Happens," as well as ballads such as "My Romance" and "Body and Soul," he has ensured that this CD offers an excellent variety of tempos.
Solo guitar fans should find it to be a pleasant listening experience. |

Reviewed by Vince Lewis |

Just Jazz Guitar magazine
August 2004
reprinted with permission of Just Jazz Guitar.

John Chacona

...you 'd better have a good sense of time....
NEW CDs TAKE A LOCAL SPIN [ Article by John Chacona ] excerpt from larger article: | | |

IF YOU'RE GOING TO PLAY 71 minutes of unaccompanied guitar as Frank Singer does on his program of 12 standards, you'd better have a good sense of time. Those listeners who view Singer as a note-heavy guitar slinger should listen closely to "Standards 1" (Naked Kitty OTS1). The Berklee School of Music-trained Singer stays surprising close to the originals. He eschews flashy soloing, for the most part content to limn the harmonic contours of such chestnuts as "Manha de Carnaval" and "Body and Soul" with gentle waves of chords. Available online through CD Baby (www.cdbaby.com), this one's just right for a low-key, romantic New Year's Eve celebration for two. | | |

John Chacona, an Erie writer, is a contributor to Signal To Noise, a quarterly journal of improvised and experimental music based in Burlington, VT, and to one final note, a Webzine with similar interests. He can be reached at jchacona@reporters.net.

- John Chacona
Erie Times-News December 19th, 2002 [ top ] [ press page ] [ oFF tHE tOP: standards 1 ]
©2003 John Chacona

Glenn Taylor

I think your CD is great...
I think your cd is great, I'm really into solo jazz guitar and I play 99% standards, so your recording was just what I like to hear. Looking forward to standards 2, so put me on your list. Keep up the good work. | | |
Glenn Taylor

Sally Burdick

What Segovia is to classical, Singer does it for jazz.
"'Leaves no change on the table' as far as improvisational ability.
What Segovia was to classical, Singer does it for jazz." | | | - 01-15-04

Al Lubiejewski

...you can't select any better than "Off The Top".
Is this a classic case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? | | |

For those of you who know Frank Singer as an in-your-face, ripping, rocking, electric, and eclectic guitarist in groups like Cats-A-Bear, Tito, One World Tribe, J.D.'s Blues, and Plato's Cave, you'll be delighted to learn he has a lush and lyrical side, too.
That introspective side is displayed to perfection on Frank's new CD called "Off The Top: Standards 1," a direct-to-disc set of solo guitar versions of nine well-chosen popular songs buttressed by a trio of jazz classics.
To Heighten the lyricism, Frank employs a Gibson 1750 hollow body jazz guitar which sounds as clear and precise as an acoustic.
Actually, the choice of fashionable material played on a Gibson guitar is straight down the middle.
But, this CD goes over the top in at least three ways.
The album's subtitle - "solo jazz guitar from off the top of the head" - suggests the first.
In the liner notes, Singer explains that his goal in making this disc was "To honor the tune and yet leave it wide open to anything."
Jazz cats worldwide always follow this basic tenet.
But the trick is in getting the balance between composition and improvisation just right so that you don't baffle, or worse yet, bore your listeners.
Happily, Singer blends the tried-and-true with the unknown in a beguiling fashion.
Secondly, the playlist, like a fine whiskey, is stocked from the top-shelf, ranging from Duke Ellington's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," Rodgers & Hart's "My romance," and Johnny Green's "Body & Soul" to Monk's "Straight No Chaser," Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage," and Yardbird Parker's "Donna Lee."
And, finally, the performance is Singer at his tops, challenging that of Joe Pass - perhaps the only other guitarist to record solo via his Pablo "Virtuoso" discs.
For those who love the detailed sound of a Gibson jazz guitar adventurously tackling some well-known tunes in a style that can serve as a backdrop to a candlelit dinner and the serious and hushed late-night listening that follows, you can't select any better that "Off The Top." | | |

Al Lubiejewski is an Erie, PA Attorney, freelance writer, and JazzErie member who hosts "Bop 'n The Blues" Fridays at 8:00 PM on Erie, PA's WQLN, 91.3 FM.