Singer Eric van Aro and his musician friends break new grounds interpreting modern standards by Gino Vannelli, Stevie Wonder, Stephen Sondheim and Led Zeppelin among others, as well as songs with lyrics penned by Eric himself.
His jazz influences come through loudly and clearly on Vannellis "PUT THE WEIGHT ON MY SHOULDERS" which includes a masterful trumpet solo by Franco Ambrosetti and "MILES BLOWIN" a tune originally sung by Chaka Khan.
Led Zeppelin's "FRIENDS"(the title track) gets an updated and essential sound and speaks clearly about the theme of the album: Friendship! "THE PAINTING IN MY HEART" (a van Aro original) is an ode to Sundance in the state of Utah and his painter friend Billy Szaggars. "WON'T PLAY NO MORE", a legendary Italian blues originally sung by Mina with Toots Thielemans on Harmonica, gets the bayou treatment, with english lyrics by Van Aro.
Stevie Wonders "MISSTRA KNOW-IT-ALL" and Peter Allen's "NOT THE BOY NEXT DOOR" both take a trip to up beat Latin America, while Bruno de Filippi's amazing Harmonica underlines the dramatic vein of "THE GERSHWIN TAYLOR KING MEDLEY".
Throughout the album Eric's voice always comes over in an emotively compelling manner that matches the depths of the excellent compositions.
The sum total of this album bends the rules without breaking the spirit of the songs, managing to be instantly attractive yet certain without any doubt to reward listeners for years to come.
More info at www.eraki.com