Mark Winkler: lowercase
Mark Winkler (vocals)
Till I Get It Right (FreeHam FH0907)
Mark Winkler (vocals),
Bob Sheppard (tenor & soprano saxes), Jamieson Trotter (piano), Dan Lutz (bass), Steve Hass (drums).
Composed by Joshua Redman, Mark Winkler & Lori Barth.
Recorded: North Hollywood, CA, 2008
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
On Joshua Redman's "lowercase," Mark Winkler demonstrates his smooth and undulating vocal style. He sings the self-penned lyrics in perfect cadence with the song's musical meter. With a tip of his hat to vocalist and apparent inspiration Mark Murphy, who wrote the liner notes in true hipster style, Winkler is at once derivative yet original. Much like Murphy, he chooses challenging and unique material, with lyrics that bring a sly smile to your face for somehow being in the know. As an educator, he has taught songwriting classes at UCLA; so it's no surprise that he has a way with fitting just the right words to compelling music. His nonchalant delivery is deceptive because of the ease with which he modulates his voice. The musicians are first-rate, and complement his lead with understated elegance and impeccable time. Bob Sheppard is particularly effective with his fine tenor work that feeds off Winkler's vocal direction. After solos by pianist Jamieson Trotter and Sheppard, we return to the melody before the tune closes with a repeating refrain from Trotter that fades into a rolling drum solo by Steve Hass. This is vocal jazz at its best.
Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello