Tom Lellis: Tell Me a Bedtime Story


Tell Me a Bedtime Story


Tom Lellis and the Metropole Orchestra


Skylark (Adventure Music 1050)

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Tom Lellis (vocals),

Hans Vroomans (piano), Lex Bolderdijk (bass), Arno van Niwewnhuize (drums) Cees Kranenberg (drums) and the Metropole Orchestra conducted by John Clayton


Composed by Herbie Hancock. Arranged Willem Friede


Recorded: Hilversum, Netherlands, February 1-4, 1999


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Tom Lellis has been singing professionally since he was 15, but very little of his work has been documented on record. A full decade elapsed between his debut album And in This Corner 1981, and his follow-up release Double Entendre in 1991. He has had some visibility on labels such as Concord and Inner City, but never a platform commensurate with his talents. This track, recorded in the Netherlands in 1999 is a case in point. Lellis offers a gripping vocal transformation of Herbie Hancock's "Tell Me a Bedtime Story" that I've gone back and listened to again and again. Lellis's phrasing and dynamics are superb. His rhythmic sensibility is acute. He operates in the moment with full commitment to the song. And the whole orchestra, playing Willem Friede's chart under John Clayton's direction, matches him at every step. When this CD was first released in 2002 it created a bit of a stir. I hope the 2009 reissue on Adventure Music exposes some more listeners to this music.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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