Jazz vocalist and terminal hipster Giacomo Gates just keeps getting better and better with each recording. "Centerpiece" (Origin 82428) finds Gates backed by Harold Danko on piano, Ray Drummond on bass, Greg Bandy on drums, Vincent Herring on alto sax and Vic Juris on guitar. Gates has many assets, among them a rich and flexible voice, a natural sense of swing, the ability to scat musically and logically, and an attentiveness to lyrics that is often made secondary by many other jazz singers. Sensibly, Gates always pays homage to the original melodies of the songs that he performs before taking off on improvisational flights of fancy. He takes "Route 66" at a slower pace than is the norm, and takes some interesting musical side trips as he travels along. He makes an interesting choice in including "Scotch and Soda" in his program. This song is mainly associated with the Kingston Trio, a mainstay of the 1960's folk music scene. Gates makes it an effective saloon song, and makes one wonder why this song has not made it into the repertoire of more jazz/pop singers. Gates is always a fabulous performer to see in a live setting. This disc gives you a fine taste of what a winning talent he possesses.