Bruce Blackman – Moonlight Feels Right 2014

It’s pop and rock. It’s jazz via bossa nova, it’s blues. It’s even soul and funk. But mostly, it’s just plain cool. Bruce Blackman, founding member of the pop/rock group Starbuck, reinvents himself and some of his hits with Moonlight Feels Right 2014 (Bruce Blackman, 2014).

With Mike McCarty’s cover illustration depicting Blackman in a white suit, white gloves and his trademark driving cap, the album presents a mix of 11 new songs and stylish remakes of a few Starbuck songs. A native of Greenville, Mississippi, Blackman handles lead vocals, bass and keyboards. Additional vocalists are Mike Brookshire, Mike Jones, David Powell, Tim Tice, daughter Sarah Blackman, Sandra Chalmers, Meeko, Lina Kiwar-Michaelides, Donna Rhodes and Cheryl Wilson. Sharing bass duties with Blackman are Larry Cianelli and Alison Prestwood. On drums are Cianelli, Ed Massey and Scott Meeder. Guitarists are Brookshire, Mac McInally, Tommy Strain, Robert Taylor and Glen Wood. Horns are by Ben McCoy, Mart Avant and Chris Gordon. Additional keyboards are by Steve Ferguson and Steve Nathan. On saxophones are Steve Black and Jay Scott. Other musicians are Wayne Mosley, steel guitar; Robert Taylor and Glen Pace, violin; Mary Sims Alms, viola; and Elizabeth Wasson, cello.

“The Big Hurt” is one of the bossa nova arrangements. Accented by strings and a Stan Getz-like tenor sax, this pop hit Toni Fisher has been covered by several jazz artists, among others. Blackman takes it a step further, adding a touch of samba.

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