Ron Kaplan | Jazz Ambassadors

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals Easy Listening: Lounge Moods: Type: Vocal
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Jazz Ambassadors

by Ron Kaplan

Reminiscent of the great Jazz Singers of the 1950's. Critics note his tone, phrasing, and ability to get to the heart of a song with his own mark of musicianship.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. It Don't Mean A Thing
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3:35 $0.99
2. Body And Soul
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4:38 $0.99
3. September Song
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4:06 $0.99
4. Stolen Moments/The Blues And The Abstract Truth
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4:43 $0.99
5. Stella By Starlight
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4:17 $0.99
6. 'Round Midnight
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6:04 $0.99
7. I Ain't Got Nothin' But The Blues
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3:43 $0.99
8. Green Dolphin Street
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5:00 $0.99
9. Don't Get Around Anymore/I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart
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2:34 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The Jazz Ambassadors have been described as a mix of Seasoned Veterans and Young Lions. What is for sure on this recording is that they are a gathering of dynamic musicians who offer a tonic of timeless jazz vocal classics.

Ron Kaplan has put together a tight piano trio with Eddie Mendenhall on piano, Dan Robbins on bass and Steve Robertson on drums to perform some of the most revered songs from the exotic treasure chest of the "Great American Songbook". These songs need no introduction to the listener and provide a montage of wonderful arrangements, improvisation and dazzling musicianship.

Ron is a connoisseur of this music and has studied the history of its birth, rise and interpretation for four decades. This wealth of experience and immersion in the genre provides him with the tools he needs to deliver the warmth and dexterity he offers on the Jazz Ambassadors.

Like the opening It Don't Mean A Thing, a swinger from the outset with the rhythm section and vocalist employing a certain amount of artistic freedom with a walking bass predominant throughout. On this cut Ron has the warm and mature delivery of a later day Mel Torme.

The Bossa Nova version of Body And Soul is the album's highlight for me, a wonderful listening experience of the Heyman, Green, Sour and Eyton classic.

September Song is an eclectic offering performed in the Tony Bennett style: "I Left MY Heart...". Ron's venerable vocal style leads to a spectacular piano solo from Eddie Mendenhall and provides an atypical expression of the musical integrity of when this song was first penned.

On an album of true class and panache, other highlights include the magical Stella By Starlight, Green Dolphin Street, and the jewel in the crown, 'Round Midnight, the Thelonious Monk classic where Ron evokes compassion in his stylistic vocal paraphrasing and flair.

The closing Don't Get Around Much Anymore is panoply of articulations and rhythms, which reiterates the romantic lyricism by Ron, and the spontaneous appeal of this tight piano trio.

Unfortunately it is difficult to find an album nowadays of vocal jazz classics performed with astute vocal and rhythmic detail but" Jazz Ambassadors" is an eloquent testimony which provides a continuum for great male vocal jazz.

The whole package has a pristine feel and encapsulates these vintage songs with a quartet of superior musicians who have risen to the challenge to provide a trademark jazz set.

This recording is not to be missed and is available from Kapland Records or EuroClubdeJazz Showcase Artists.

Wes Gillespie...EuroclubdeJazz.com


Reviews


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Dr. Mark A. Goral

One of Ron Kaplan's Best Recordings !
Ron Kaplan's recording, Jazz Ambassadors, is one of his best to date. There cannot be enough said about the utter brilliance of Eddie Mendenhall as pianist. He is comparable to the Count and Duke. Ron's voice excels from the fine accompanists on this work. Everyone playing on this project fits nicely with each other and the work shows. Words speak for themselves, people, and listening to this work is a prime example.

Robert Linquist

Here's jazz that is 100% pure, hot and strong
If you favor a tall, rich cup full of enjoyment ground from the best of the Great American Songbook, jazz that is 100% pure, hot and strong. With Eddie Mendenhall (piano), Steve Robertson (drums) and Dan Robbins (bass), Ron Kaplan delivers nine solid vocal performances with all the smoke and sincerity of the great jazz performers of the '50's. Kicking things off with the Ellington/Mills classic "It Don't Mean a Thing," Ron demonstrates his ability to swing with a taste of growling grittiness. The fourth cut, "Stolen Moments/The Blues And The Abstract Truth", is an original (with music by Oliver Nelson) in which Kaplan creates a dynamite groove with plenty of room for his own vocal scatting and the player's solos. Other favorites include his oh-so-smooth work on "September Song" and "Green Dolphin Street," a personal favorite that, until recently, had sort of slipped off the mainstream jazz singer's repertoire.

If you are a Thelonious Monk fan, you'll no doubt be hitting the repeat button after "Round Midnight." Track to track, Kaplan's vocal interpretations exude the sincerity, tight phrasing and feel for the swing that can only come from the heart of a genuine jazz singer.
-RAL

Dan Singer In Tune International Singer's Singers

"Consistency" should be Ron's middle name
Ron continues to favour us with 11 more important and impressive jazz styled standards performed to a magnificent turn. Ellington's famous quartet: "It Don't Mean A Thing" (Mills),"I Ain't Got Nothin' But The Blues" (George/Fotine), "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" (Russell), and "I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart" (Mills/Nemo/Redmond) become putty in his vocal hands. Ron's blues style is all class "A".
There's a superb bossa nova arrangement of "Body And Soul" (Heyman/Eyton/Sour/Green). It is so tasty and clearly chock full of delights. "Green Dolphin Street" (Kaper/Washington) offers the listener some remarkable on key romantic rich vocal artistry. It's casual yet delicate in its interpretation.
"Consistency" should be Ron's middle name.

Dan Singer
Singer's Singers
In Tune International
November 2004

Oscar Groomes

His renditions are worth hearing again, and again, and again.
O's Notes: Ron is a jazz balladeer who may not have crossed your radar screen yet. If he had, you'd surely remember him. He's got a cool voice and style that will warm your spirits. He sings standards in front of a tight rhythm section, songs like "Body and Soul", "Stolen Moments" and "Round Midnight". You have heard the lyrics before, but his renditions are worth hearing again, and again, and again.