By: Edward Blanco

Tim Gill is a Los Angeles-based Downbeat award-winning vocalist/trumpeter who leads a power-infused ten-piece ensemble (the All-Stars) on their debut recording entitled Bon Appetit, featuring fourteen selections blending music from the Great American Songbook with jazz cover tunes and four originals. This is good old fashion big band swing jazz with vocals being the main item on the menu and Gill serving the main course. Not your standard vocalist, Gill is a young crooner using a hushed low-key intimate vocal style to front a small ensemble with a big kick.

The first serving on the menu is a high-octane rendition of the Ray Charles song “Hallelujah, I Love Her So” followed by the finger-licking swinging title song, a Gill original where Gill’s trumpet and the brass drive the music. Two of the finer delicious tasting vocal pieces include the original “She Can’t Belong To Me” and the Illinois Jacquet chart “Baby, Don’tcha Go ‘Way Mad.” Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies” opens up with a thunderbolt of energy where the band weighs in with a meaty performance, Gill is especially sprite. The Young Rascal’s pop classic “Happy Together” is served up with an exciting new arrangement.

All is not swing however, as Gill lightens up offering a softer touch on the Brooks Bowman jazz standard “East of the Sun (West of the Moon) with more tender moments coming on “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love.” Though the majority of the repertoire are vocals, the band dazzles on the instrumental rendition of the Count Basie tune “Jumpin’ at the Woodside.” Other dishes served well include “Undecided,” the Rogers and Hart classic “I Wish I were In Love Again” and the swinging finale “Baby, Quit That Bangin’ Around Upstairs.”

If you like tasteful vocals of the big band kind, then Bon Appetit! Should be on your menu for it is one unexpectedly appetizing dish you may wish to consume often. Tim Gill and his All-stars serve up a pleasurable full-course meal that is simply finger-licking good, impressive debut.

Year: 2011 Label: Self-Produced Artist Web: