Jazz for all seasons
“The Crooner’s Songbook”
The guys at MCA Music Philippines sure know how to milk success. Now that Richard Poon has signed with another label, it’s the perfect opportunity to release this sendoff—a 20-track “best of” CD that comes with a DVD counterpart of 20 minus-one versions and eight music videos.
Since jazz is music for all seasons, the songs here—most of which swing with big band fervor—may be enjoyed on any given day, preferably at night, alone or with a loved one.
Although Poon’s vocal range is either quite limited or needs more seasoning, his sensitivity and drive are evident in “Moon River,” “Blue Moon,” “The Last Time,” “I’ll Take Care of You” and “That’s All.”
His peculiar covers of “Kahit Maputi Na ang Buhok Ko,” “Panalangin” and “Kumot at Unan” can reconcile quarreling couples. His own composition, “Kahit Di Mo Napapansin,” shows songwriting potential that he should develop.
But the tune that takes the cake is “Fever,” in which Poon and Nina engage in a hot, spirited duet.
“The Reunion: An Eraserheads Tribute Album”/Star Records
The soundtrack of the new Star Cinema film is, surprisingly, a refreshing take on the music of the country’s most popular defunct band. There are innovations here that speak volumes of the talent of the artists in the lineup.
Consider the Itchyworms’ folk-country approach to “Maling Akala”; Hilera’s rockabilly treatment to “Hilera”; and Tanya Markova’s playful, calypso-punk overhaul of “Hey Jay.”
Even those that stay close to the original versions leave their own distinct mark: Johnoy Danao’s acoustic rendition of “Pare Ko” comes with a bluesy harmonica courtesy of Kakoy Legaspi; the jukebox pop flavor of “Kailan” sounds more alluring with Ney Dimaculangan and Yeng Constantino; the funk-rap on “Super Proxy” gets more intense with Razorback and Gloc-9, and the reminiscing on “Ang Huling El Bimbo” becomes more bittersweet with the trio of Jay Durias, Legaspi and Boyet Aquino, notwithstanding some auto-tune icing.
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