Music Reviews

Mark Winkler

Sings Bobby Troup

Rhombus

Ok, sure, the name Bobby Troup probably means zip to ya, but I guarantee you know his work. “Route 66?” Yeah, he’s the guy who penned it, and many more besides. In his heyday, Troup was a leading example of West Coast hip – suave, assured and cool enough to freeze water. In addition to his mannered and stylish vocals, he was an able songwriter. No mere interpreter, he wrote all the tunes for which he’s known: “Route 66,” “Baby, Baby All the Time” and “Meaning of the Blues.” His “Walkin’ Shoes,” co-written with saxophonist Gerry Mulligan, is a jazz standard.

Contemporary vocalist Mark Winkler obviously loves the music of Troup, and this 13-cut record is a testament to the enduring nature of the work of Bobby Troup. Backed by an able jazz combo (particularly Anthony Wilson on guitar and Joe Bagg on a tasty Hammond B-3), Winkler never overshadows the music with his presence, preferring to let the tunes sell themselves. And they do. While listening to this record straight through might be too much of a good thing (the songs all sound rather similar and are high on the “daddy-o factor”) you really can’t go wrong with any cut. Fans of the more popular versions of Troup’s hits, such as the Stones take on “Route 66” be forewarned – ain’t no rock and roll here. Instead, this is subtly crafted martini music, and proud of it. Get hip to this kind of trip.

Rhombus Records: http://www.rhombus-records.com/


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