Ken Slavin | I'll Take Romance

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals Easy Listening: American Popular Song Moods: Solo Male Artist
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I'll Take Romance

by Ken Slavin

Velvety, smooth and compelling classic jazz vocals by one of today's most exciting singers. Ken Slavin's fourth professional release is his most ambitious project to date.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

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1. Thoughts of Your Smile
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4:43 $0.99
2. You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
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1:55 $0.99
3. Tea For Two
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3:03 $0.99
4. I'll Take Romance (snappy version)
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3:20 $0.99
5. Alone
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4:41 $0.99
6. Just You, Just Me
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3:14 $0.99
7. But Beautiful
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4:39 $0.99
8. Come Rain or Come Shine
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4:01 $0.99
9. I Can't Reach Your Heart
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3:57 $0.99
10. Day By Day
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3:19 $0.99
11. I Could Have Danced All Night
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3:49 $0.99
12. Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me
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4:00 $0.99
13. Mangos
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2:57 $0.99
14. That's My Desire
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3:22 $0.99
15. Summer Samba (So Nice)
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3:49 $0.99
16. I'll Take Romance (sexy version)
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3:02 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Ken Slavin is a popular and seasoned jazz crooner, equally at home in intimate jazz clubs, piano bars, concert halls and country clubs. He is one of the most respected entertainers in Texas with a vast repertoire of classic jazz, pop and Spanish-language standards. He has a gift for touching the hearts and souls of listeners of all ages with a smooth, intimate and emotive baritone voice - and total belief in the lyrics and feeling of each song he sings.

"I'll Take Romance" is his latest release, featuring world-class jazz musicians, symphonic arrangements and other polished touches. It is the kind of album you will want to listen to with a special someone -- and share with friends and family.

It has received excellent notices around the country and is on radio play lists in Texas, New York, Italy, France, Poland and the Philippines.

Voted “Best Vocalist” and "Best Musician" multiple times by by readers of The San Antonio Current, Slavin started late in the music business, not stepping on the stage to pursue his lifelong dream until shortly before his 29th birthday.

He gigs regularly in San Antonio and Austin (the Lone Star State's music capital) and occasionally in other areas of the country. He has headlined San Antonio's famous "Jazz'SAlive" festival three times and has opened for such famous performers as David Sanborn, Eddie Palmieri, The Four Freshmen and The Platters. He also has performed at private parties for Helen Reddy and Vikki Carr.

Now gearing up for his 20th anniversary as a performer, Slavin is more determined than ever to make his mark beyond San Antonio on the jazz and cabaret circuits in the United States and abroad. He is actively seeking gigs in New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, on cruise ships and overseas resorts, and at noted American and European jazz festivals.

"When it comes to crooning in the classic jazz/pop style, Ken Slavin has no peers." -- JIM BEAL, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS.


Reviews


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Judy Hartman

I'll Take Romance
I loved this album and can only hope he will do more of the same. There is never enough of this type of music,

Gilbert Garcia, The San Antonio Current

A sultry, late-night ode to love
...a seductive 16-song collection that features both the lushest textures (particularly with the string-laden bookends “Thoughts of Your Smile” and “I’ll Take Romance”) and the most intimate, casual vibe ever heard on a Slavin album...More than most contemporary interpreters of the Great American Songbook, Slavin delights in turning his material sideways, making even the most familiar tunes sound like new discoveries. A prime example on I’ll Take Romance comes with “Tea For Two,” a song done to death for more than 80 years as a breezy, old-soft-shoe shuffle. Slavin and Brake, however, slow the song down to a dead crawl, and its yearning, emotional core miraculously reveals itself. For listeners, the effect is a bit like finding a diamond in a peanut shell. They take a similar tack with “I Could Have Danced All Night,” a boisterous staple of Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady. Slavin’s recording owes nothing to memories of Audrey Hepburn’s lip-synch treatment in the 1964 film adaptation. Slavin’s performance feels like a slow, sultry, 3 a.m. capper to a night in which considerably more than dancing took place...

Conversely, he speeds up “Come Rain or Come Shine” with a tough, bluesy treatment, and brings a lighter-than-air swing to Cole Porter’s reflective “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To”...

Terry Robertson

A Jazz Gem
Outside of Josh Groban, I don't care for male singers, but Ken Slavin has changed my mind. I love jazz and his voice is perfect for this genre. His pitch is perfect commingled with a smoky honey tone. All the songs are wonderfully rendered, the standouts are the title cut, Alone and I Can't Reach Your Heart.

He reached this cynic's.

Michael Armstrong, Homer News (Alaska)

He finds the heart of classics
With his mellow baritone, on "I'll Take Romance" he finds the heart of classic show tunes and jazz standards like Cole Porter's "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To" or Duke Ellington and Bob Russell's "Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me."

It's singing that earned him "Best Vocalist of 2007" by the readers of the San Antonio Current and given him the confidence to look farther.

With his fourth CD, Slavin thinks he has the chops to follow his dream. He's been shopping his CD all over the world, with orders coming from France, Portugal and Italy. He's gotten positive responses from jazz clubs and cabarets in New York. He said he hopes to take a year off from his public relations business to focus on his music career.

Michael Sutton

Slavin is a knockout!
Give Ken Slavin a sad song, and you will hear some of the most beautifully melancholic crooning in quite a while. That’s no exaggeration. Slavin is blessed with a haunting, broken-hearted baritone that reaches beneath the skin, crawling its way into the deepest recesses of your soul. Accompanied by lush strings and lovely piano on the opener, “Thoughts of Your Smile (Manha de Carnaval),” Slavin is a knockout; his booming, sultry voice weaving its way into the black-and-white atmospherics of the lyrics, yearning, pleading for affection. That moment alone justifies the existence of this CD, a collection of smoothly polished and well-sung jazz standards.

On I’ll Take Romance, Slavin balances slow and upbeat numbers, making sure that the listeners don’t linger with one emotional response for too long of a time. For me, Slavin is at his best when he sings low and sad, such as the unrequited love of “I Can’t Reach Your Heart,” which should be on every mix tape given to a prospective date. The more spirited tracks on I’ll Take Romance, like the jubilant “Just You, Just Me” and the tropical “Mangos,” offer delicious fun; however, Slavin is truly mesmerizing when the material has him looking for, and not celebrating, love. Nevertheless, there isn’t a bum cut on the record; these are all classics, and Slavin performs them with class, respect, and warmth.

Maybe it’s because I’m in the Pacific Northwest, wherein it rains most of the year, and by 4 p.m. in the fall, it can get pitch-black already, but it’s the slower, more reflective tracks that I keep hitting the repeat button on.

Scott Yanow, nationally acclaimed jazz biographer and critic, fr

A welcome event!
During an era when male jazz singers are few and far between, a new recording by Ken Slavin is a welcome event. Although born in 1961, Slavin loves to sing songs written long before he was born, standards from the 1930s through the 50s. Based in San Antonio, he did not begin singing professionally until 1990 but has since become established as arguably the city’s top jazz crooner or saloon singer.

On “I’ll Take Romance,” Ken Slavin sounds warm and expressive on the ballads while cooking on the up-tempo tunes, most notably “Just You, Just Me.” He sticks to the lyrics while his phrasing gives the music a strong jazz feeling. Joined by pianist Morris Nelms’ trio, a few guest soloists (including trumpeter Al Gomez) and occasionally four violins, he swings his way through 16 standards including “Tea For Two,” “I’ll Take Romance,” “Day By Day” and “Summer Samba,” making the vintage material sound fresh and lively.

This is a fun CD that is easily recommended to fans of the small field of male jazz singers.

Adam Harrington, Whisperin' & Hollerin'.com

Brimming with passion and soul
The number of well-groomed, immaculately attired artists today who believe they can croon as well as Frank Sinatra is growing like an infected wound. Blame it on the surprise success of Michael Buble, the Harry Connick, Jr. of this generation. Most of the time (they) probably will not find a following outside of the nightclubs they frequently perform at; after all, despite the popularity of Buble and Connick, Jr., jazz standards aren't the hot topic in contemporary music.

But Ken Slavin is different. Slavin isn't attempting to be Sinatra or anybody else for that matter. His voice is stunning by itself. Brimming with passion and soul, Slavin could be a role model on how this style can be pulled off. There are compositions on here dating back 60 years; however, you won't be able to tell because of the fresh-faced and lively renditions that Slavin offers. The title track is invigorating cocktail jazz which finds Slavin giving one of his most soaring performances. Slavin has a deep, penetrating voice; that he can probably woo women of all ages with this instrument is further evidence of how timeless it is. Slavin is not trying to sing like it's 1940; he simply sings, letting the emotional weight of every word, either lovelorn laments or unrestrained giddiness, leap from his silky throat.

The musicianship is crisp and engaging. "Alone" features seductive saxophone from Pierre Poirre while "Come Rain or Come Shine" delivers Kevin Hess' most robust drum work. The production is top-of-the-line, placing Slavin's vocals in front of the mix; on "Thoughts of Your Smile (Manha de Carnaval)," it almost sounds like Slavin is whispering in your ear. Slavin has taken these heavily aged tunes and made them his own, free from any imitation. It's almost as if he was born to sing them, which he probably was.

Carol Dingwell

I'll take romance
After hearing his first album I knew this one would be a winner too. I hope you continue to be heard in more venues so more people will hear about you.

Jim Beal, San Antonio Express-News

Slavin's 'Romance' is beautiful!
Through hard work, determination, innate chops and...good sense...Slavin became a first-class singer with a repertoire that transcends nostalgia. And it hasn't hurt that Slavin has become a top-flight showman. ‘I'll Take Romance’ is a romantic effort indeed, packed with ballads including "But Beautiful,"... and "Alone." To describe the CD as anything but beautiful would be a mistake. Though it's ballad heavy, with only a few selections, including "Just You, Just Me" and "Day by Day," hitting the up category, Slavin's voice is excellent, Brake's production deft and the music, by Slavin's band and a few talented guests, is exactly what the songs call for.

Michael Maldonado, Seattle, Washington

I'll Take Romance
Ken Slavin has done it again! I have listened to his smooth and wondeful music since he began singing at the famed "La Louisiane" Restaurant in San Antonio. What a treat it is to continue listening and loving his music. I truly relish his current album and recommend it to everyone who knows what talent is! Bravo Ken - you're the best.
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