Singer, songwriter and sax player Curtis Stigers has often tread a difficult line between pop and jazz and I didn’t want to like his latest album - Gentleman. But I did. There’s a lot to like, with a maturity and some great musicians helping Stigers create a groove, mainly concentrating on his vocals, but with snippets of sax thrown in.
Despite the premise that this is an album about loss and love, there’s a maturity about these 12 songs. It’ll be interesting to see how the title track does as a single, out early in advance of the May 1st release date and with strong vocals and sax from Stigers.
Watch the video for Gentleman here:
Many of the songs are a collaboration between Stigers and his musical partners Larry Goldings and David Poe, but there are also contributions from Nick Lowe, Tom T. Hall and John Fulbright. The gorgeous As Usual is penned by Larry Goldings and Bill Demain and when Goldings, Stigers and Poe get together on Learning to Love Again there’s a relaxed feel that suits both Stigers’ voice and Golding’s piano perfectly.
Listen to As Usual here:
This is a strong band behind Stigers, with Goldings joined by the bass of David Piltch, drummer Austin Beede and percussionist Doug Yowell, with the added bonus of John “Scrapper” Sneider on trumpet and Jody Ferber on cello.
Stigers is quoted as saying “Jazz songs used to be pop songs. Jazz has always been about reinvention.” Perhaps, with Gentleman, Stigers has reinvented himself.