John Alcorn

Quiet Night

– the Intimate Rodgers and Hart

Quiet Night, John’s first recorded collection of jazz standards, is a tribute to legendary songwriters Richard Rodgers and Larry Hart. Following its release in 2003, the 2004 National Jazz Awards selection committee nominated John for Best Jazz Vocalist.

“…a masterpiece…”
–The Advocate Newspaper

“…his smooth-as-silk vocal delivery brings a positive message to the forum. You can “hear” his smiles as Alcorn interprets each of these chestnuts with clarity and genuine passion…open and honest about the music, he’s convincing…swinging to thoughts of how “love fell out with me” and “my lips could move and talk,” Alcorn takes romance to its limits. Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart created timeless signals that continue to light fires and warm hearts. In John Alcorn’s hands, these priceless songs come to life.”
–All About Jazz

***** (5 stars) “…at once dusky, yet urbane and rich…all the elements of a polished vocalist…time, clarity, pitch and style…John Alcorn paints with his own brush…this album is one that bears listening to for years to come….”
–EuroClub de Jazz

“Jazz vocal disc of the month” (May, 2004)
–El Cantor de Jazz

“…a treasure trove.”
–CKSL AM

“…Alcorn hits the nail on the head, and drives it into the heart with passion and conviction. The CD is giddy and romantic, featuring some of the finest contemporary musicians backing John’s gorgeous vocals.”
–ejazznews

“… a smoky smooth crooner voice reminiscent of Frank Sinatra or Mel Tormé. He gently coaxes the emotion out of the song lyrics. The swinging swagger of ‘Thou Swell’…the intimate Latin feel of ‘Quiet Night’, a Bossa Nova spin on ‘Spring is Here’, the warm cozy ‘Isn’t it Romantic?’…this self-produced recording would seem to be only the tip of this musical iceberg — a tantalizing sample of much more to come.”
– Wholenote Magazine

“…a convincing advocate of the crooner tradition…demonstrating his lush voice and clear delineation of lyrics on titles that range from the well-known and ebullient ‘Thou Swell’ to the little-known and understated ‘Quiet Night’…has clearly moved above the local branch of retro crooners by the artfulness and musicality of his delivery.”
– Toronto Life

“…a prime example of sophisticated swing.”
– Scene

“…an important jazz singer…sublime intensity…understated technique…excellent choice of material, subtle, but creative and powerful interpretations and individuality, all the things you look for in jazz vocalist recordings. Like (Mark) Murphy often does, Alcorn understates the song, while at the same time swinging discreetly, but hard. He almost speaks the lyrics while at the same time giving a lesson in how seminal swing is.”
– CJSF FM

“The self-produced CD mines the emotional side of the famous songwriting duo’s work, without ever stooping to sentimentality. A top-flight Toronto jazz crew keep things swinging nicely.”
– The Mississauga News

“Vocalist Alcorn has a big fan following hereabouts…(his) voice, its smoothness with quasi-Chet Baker echo chamber hints and now attractively coloured by a grainy, gravelly edge (check out “You Are Too Beautiful”) has a ball with the medium-rolling “Thou Swell,” “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” and “This Can’t Be Love” that has Molly Johnson in for a cameo, and can deliver big surprises like his lead-in to “Spring Is Here”…”
– Toronto Star

“A work of art.”
– CKLN FM

“An icon on the Toronto live-music scene, Alcorn himself produced this tour-de-force. A consummate, and deeply swinging collection of the best of Rodgers and Hart.”
— Planet Jazz

“This is sure to be one of the most talked about independent jazz releases for 2003.”
– HMV.com

“The first thing that will strike you upon hearing this handsome Canadian’s collection of standards is his complete mastery of the rich instrument that is his sexy, intimate baritone. It is hard not to think of those great interpreters of standards Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett when you hear John Alcorn’s command of the phrasing and nuanced interpretive abilities when it comes to these lyrics …Alcorn inhabits these little love songs like someone born to experience them. Well-loved material from their canon, like “Thou Swell” and “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was,” is represented here, but wonderfully so are many lesser-known gems like “My Heart Stood Still” and the title track, as well as “This Can’t Be Love,” a romping duet between Alcorn and another Canadian jazz diva worth “discovering” by the name of Molly Johnson (also from Alcorn’s hometown of Toronto), whose energy and sass drives Alcorn into his terrifically passionate high range. The arrangements are kept spare on this outing, which moves from swinging jazz through Latin grooves and full-out ballads the likes of which will have Diana Krall calling him up for duets as soon as word gets out. In fact, what these two have in common besides marketable good looks is an intimate approach to the material at hand that is never showy and always in keeping with the original intention of the song. Alcorn’s incredible command of the genre begs the question: What intelligent label will help us hear him essay the rest of the great American songbook?”
— Frontiers Newsmagazine

Personnel
John Alcorn vocal, piano
Richard Whiteman piano
Steve Wallace bass
Daniel Barnes drums
Ted Quinlan guitar
Michael Stuart saxophone

With special guest
Molly Johnson vocals

Strings arranged and conducted by
John MacLeod

Moshe Hammer 1st violin
Adele Armin 2nd violin
Kent Teeple viola
David Hetherington cello

 

 

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