Ye gods, this is GOOD. Like “mega-good”. The moment the album started playing, I thought I was wrong and that this was an old Jimmy Smith album – A New Star, A New Sound Volume 2, perhaps – but that’s impossible since I know that album six ways to Sunday. No, this astounding piece of work is courtesy of Carey Frank, who has been serving as the touring keyboardist in the Tedeschi Trucks band as of late. Mr. Frank delivers here, with guitarist Bruce Forman, a devastating set of standards that screams “Blue Note, 1953”. Fluid, warm and wholly embraceable, it’s a dynamic collection played by two obvious masters. Something To Remember Him By is one of those albums you will, indeed, not forget.
The trade off of Hammond B3 runs by Mr. Frank and the delicate tastefulness of Mr. Forman’s guitar stylings are immediately felt on Chet Baker’s “You Don’t Know What Love Is”; the sympathetic guitar notes that run parallel to the organ on Cole Porter’s “All Of You” is just so well-placed; of course, I get very emotional when I hear “I Remember You” (albeit the “hit” Frank Ifield version – one of my all-time favorite songs) but hearing this, I would SWEAR that Jimmy Smith did, indeed, do a version as well almost the exact same. But nonetheless, I love the way this swings; this is done with so much soul. As that songs reminds me of something mournful in the way I grew up with it, here it’s buoyant and joyful. On the legendary “September Song”, aside from the quiet ease of Mr. Forman’s guitar, my guess (and that’s all it is) is Mr. Frank is deftly playing an accordion (unless he’s a master harmonica player) – either way, it’s breathtaking.
Eleven songs that hopefully anyone with a musical sense and a quietly romantic side will take to heart. This is an easily embraceable album and shines – with good reason. Carey Frank and Bruce Forman have plumped from a very rich tapestry of true, classic music and not only breathe new life into these songs but introduce them (hopefully) to a new generation.
Something To Remember Him By is currently available