If Gary Negbaur says he retains one foot in New Orleans and the opposite in his native New York Metropolis, consider him. On the jazz pianist’s proper ankle is a “Large Apple” tattoo, and on the left, a “Fleur-de-lis.” When he’s hanging Crescent Metropolis type, you’ll probably discover him holding court docket at any of town’s finer institutions (Three Muses, Dos Jefes, The Columns Resort). He even recorded a reside album at Cafe Istanbul in 2017.
His follow-up to Alive in New Orleans nonetheless retains a foot in The Large Simple, particularly with the album cowl of the decapitated Robert E. Lee statue. When momentum was mounting for the statue’s removing, then-mayor Mitch Landrieu referred to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific present tune, “You’ve Bought to Be Rigorously Taught,” which grew to become the title monitor of this recording. Simply because the tune pushed the envelope by addressing racial prejudice, its elementary idea continues to be topical immediately: kids study to hate, it’s not innate.
Apart from being in contact together with his adopted New Orleans, Negbaur additionally reveals how New York is such an enormous a part of his id. He’s one of many few to interpret Broadway present tunes in a style that attracts its requirements from basic movies. Apart from the title monitor, there’s the prancing “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” from My Truthful Girl and the twisted, Randy Newman-recalling “You’ll Be Again” from Hamilton.
From Broadway, he bounces to the Beatles, decoding two tunes from its canon. In direction of the top of “For No One,” Negbaur launches right into a loopy salsa groove that’s all too temporary however revolutionary, nonetheless.
But, don’t take him too significantly as a result of sly humor is commonly across the nook. He throws the ’20s swingy “I Need to Be Joyful” right into a minor key and croons with a droll, depressed-sounding voice as if to satirize its co-dependent lyrics: “I received’t be blissful till I make you content.”
Of Negbaur’s pleasant originals, “Chemistry” is virtually a mini-musical with a cheerful ending whereas “I Maintain Lacking My Cue” finds a protagonist—at all times a beat behind. “Dressing for Yesterday’s Climate” follows an analogous go well with of one other misfit protagonist, besides his outlook adjustments when success strikes.
Little question, Negbaur’s a intelligent songwriter, leaving the listener intrigued as to what else might be stashed away in his tune bag. As a jazz pianist, he’s a monster, taking part in stunning melodic preparations with glowing ornamentation. It’s so wealthy, in actual fact, his high-quality taking part in may simply overshadow his songwriting, however general, it’s an excellent mixture from an artist who places it collectively seamlessly.