Multi-award-winning jazz vocalist, Joe Coughlin’s career has spanned 4 decades. He’s one of the rare breed of singers able to inhabit and truly flourish in the land where jazz meets the Great American Song Book. Evident from his first eponymously titled release 40 years ago, it continues to this day where he is reunited with pianist Bernie Senensky and drummer Terry Clarke, both of whom performed on that first recording. Joe cites Johnny Hartman as an early influence when, as a teenager, he began to develop an interest in and talent for vocal jazz. Joe and Johnny have also shared sidemen, both having recorded with Lorne Lofsky, Chris Connor, and Buff Allen. Over the years, Joe has honed his craft and developed his own sound although the nods to Hartman and Sinatra are still evident. Along with Canadian jazz icons Bernie Senensky and Terry Clarke, joining Joe on this recording are Neil Swainson on bass, a true jazz heavyweight, and consummate tenor player, Ryan Oliver. Not surprisingly, the result is impressive. The album opens with an uptempo, swinging rendition of Eino Swan’s “When Your Lover Has Gone”, a mainstay of the Hartman and Sinatra catalogue and takes us on a voyage through that Great American Song Book with stops along the way including a magnificent (perhaps definitive) version of Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life”. The deep connection and empathy between Joe and the band members is evident throughout this truly splendid journey.
“…arguably one of the world’s great jazz singers…a singer’s singer, a horn-like improviser with brilliant technique and taste…worldly soulful and hip…the essence of everything wonderful. Five stars.” —Joseph Blake, Times Colonist, Victoria, BC
“I love Joe’s CD…a top-notch release with some outstanding songs and great musicians”—Jacques Emond, CKCU (Galaxie) Ottawa, Ontario
“Good to see that it’s still possible today to find composers/writers able to propose material as strong as that from the Broadway golden age.” —Claude Colpaert, Jazz à l’âme, Radio Campus, France
“…opening track sets the stage for what is to come…I cannot put it down…even take it to work with me to listen on my portable…great job…highly recommend this work of musical art to all”—Leon Reyes, Leon’s Jazz In A Box, KVMR Radio 89.5 FM – Nevada