Sonny G | I'll Be Laughing Tonight

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Easy Listening: Crooners/Vocals Jazz: Jazz Vocals Moods: Solo Male Artist
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I'll Be Laughing Tonight

by Sonny G

Old standards and some beautiful obscure songs that need to be heard. There is a good mix of Ballads and up tempo songs. Reminiscent of Mel Torme, Frank Sinatra, and Dick Haymes.
Genre: Easy Listening: Crooners/Vocals
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Almost Like Being in Love
4:05 album only
2. I Wish I Knew
5:41 album only
3. Green Dolphin Street
3:47 album only
4. Everything Happens to Me
5:42 album only
5. Because of You
3:41 album only
6. A Time for Love
6:09 album only
7. I Only Have Eyes for You
4:01 album only
8. Why Try to Change Me Now
6:29 album only
9. A Day in the Life of a Fool
5:52 album only
10. To Love You
3:24 album only
11. You Brought Me a New Kind of Love to Me
3:28 album only
12. I'll Be Laughing Tonight
1:58 album only
13. Sleep Warm
7:23 album only


Album Notes

Sonny G. is having the time of his life. He recently made his recording debut at the age of 67, singing the songs he loves with top musicians, making a set of standards and a few obscurities sound as if they were written for him. The joy he feels for the music is obvious and his sensitive interpretations display a deep understanding of the lyrics he sings.

Born and raised in Chicago, he loved swing, standards and jazz from the time he was a child, picking up much of his musical education while listening to the radio in the 1950s. \"Even when rock came in during my mid-teens, I was much more interested in jazz and jazz singing. I went to the Blue Note in Chicago, the Bird House, and many other clubs that featured combos. I sang in school at various functions and performed at anniversary parties and informal family things. But it was all nonprofessional until 14 years ago.” Sonny G. made his living as a salesman for many years but always liked to sing for the fun of it. “One night I was at Chambers Restaurant and Scott Coleman was playing piano. A friend told him that I could sing so he got me up there, I sang, and he liked me and helped me out. I also met saxophonist Bob Centano, sat in with his band, and he was kind enough to let me make my own mistakes and grow from the experience. I got hired to sing at the Chambers and I was able to pack the place; it helps to have a large Italian family!” Since that time, he has sung regularly in the Chicago area with such major musicians as Joey DeFrancesco, Larry Novak, Ira Sullivan, John Campbell and Jodie Christian.

When asked to describe his singing style, Sonny G. says, “I sound like me. I have been influenced primarily by Frank Sinatra and self-consciously have a way of phrasing that is similar to Frank. Sinatra and I sing in similar keys so I listened to him a lot. However I don’t copy anyone and I don’t want to be an imitator. I like to change lyrics a bit, adding adjectives and adverbs in my singing, adjusting words to really fit me and how I am feeling without actually changing the spirit of the piece.”

Sonny G.’s debut recording came about because of his desire to make an album as a legacy for his four grandchildren. He also wanted to dedicate it to his father and two friends, all of whom have passed away in recent years. Two years ago, the great organist Joey DeFrancesco suggested he come down to Phoenix and record at his studio. Finally last year, Sonny G. felt he was ready. In many cases, the performances used on the CD were first takes and came together quickly. Other than a brief discussion about the framework of a song, it was just a matter of picking a tune and performing it.

Sonny G. is joined by organist DeFrancesco on five numbers, pianist Tom Muellner on nine of the 13 songs, guitarist Bill Witz, drummer Phil Gratteau and bassist Kelly Sill on the selections on which DeFrancesco does not appear. Three songs also have Sonny G. joined by horns with Bob Ojeda contributing some tasteful flugelhorn to “I Wish I Knew.” Sonny G’s voice is highly expressive, always in-tune, he swings at every tempo, and he does justice to all of the words that he interprets. There are spots for DeFrancesco, Muellner and Witz to stretch out, but the main focus is on the singer.

The repertoire is mostly comprised of standards from the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s although a few numbers are forgotten gems. “I’ll Be Laughing Tonight” and “To Love You” were recorded by a singer named John Leslie in 1956 but rarely performed since. Of “To Love You,” Sonny G. jokes, “Every girl that I took out, I’d sing it to them. Since no one has ever heard of it, I’d tell them that I wrote it.”

Of the other songs, “Almost Like Being In Love” serves as a perfect opener, “A Day In The Life Of A Fool,” “You Brought A New Kind Of Love To Me,” a rare vocal version of “On Green Dolphin Street” that includes the verse, “Because Of You” and “I Only Have Eyes For You” are infectious swingers and Sonny B. displays his warmth on such ballads as “I Wish I Knew,” “A Time For Love,” “Everything Happens to Me,” “Why Try To Change Me Now,” and “Sleep Warm.” Of the latter, Sonny G. says “It is one of the nicest closing songs for a show.” “I Only Have Eyes For You” has a deep meaning for the singer because he sang it for his wife 47 years ago at a cousin’s wedding.

For the future, Sonny G. says that he would love to record a Christmas album and another standards CD comprised mostly of ballads. “I’m really happy that I finally chose to be a singer. I’m 68 and I’m having a great time and a lot of fun.” Lovers of the great American Songbook and of male jazz-inspired singers will also have a great time listening to Sonny G., an important new discovery for those of us not lucky enough to hear him singing live in Chicago.

Scott Yanow, author of nine jazz books including Swing, Bebop, Trumpet Kings, Jazz On Film and Jazz On Record 1917-76



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