Giacomo Gates is one of the top male jazz singers around today. His scat singing, use of vocalese and bebop attitude plant him as a successor to Eddie Jefferson, King Pleasure and Dave Lambert. Centerpiece is his finest recording to date.
Joined by pianist Harold Danko, bassist Ray Drummond and drummer Greg Bandy with guest appearances from altoist Vincent Herring and guitarist Vic Juris, Gates is heard throughout in prime form. Among the many highlights are a version of "Summertime" that uses Eddie Jefferson's lyrics, "I Told You I Love You, Now Get Out," "All Of Me" (which has King Pleasure's lyrics set to an Illinois Jacquet solo), "Lady Bird," and "Lester Leaps In/I Got The Blues." In addition, Gates wrote his own words to Miles Davis' Milestones."
With the ranks of male bop singers being rather small (Jon Hendricks, Mark Murphy, Kurt Elling and just a few others), this is a perfect time for Giacomo Gates to make his mark on jazz. Centerpiece, available from www.origin-records.com, is highly recommended.