About this CD
Welcome to the No-Smoking Section of my Smoky Bar. Where do we go when we're feeling good? When we're feeling bad? To a bar to celebrate and commiserate. The ups, the downs, the sorrows drowned. Well, these days we've given up smoking and cut back on our drinking. Thank goodness we can still indulge in luscious Smoky Bar Songs. Several of these wonderful songs are rare enough that they may be new to you and three of them are actually premiéres.
Believe it or not there are lots of booze, blues and smoke songs out there. Boy, do I love singing them, and joy of joys, check out these wonderful musicians.
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Arrangements by Mike Renzi
Mike Renzi on Piano and Synthesizer
Grady Tate on Drums
Chip Jackson on Bass (tracks: 4, 6, 10, 11)
Jay Leonhart on Bass (tracks; 1, 3, 7, 12, 14)
Steve La Spina on Bass (tracks: 2, 5, 8, 9, 13, 15)
Warren Chiasson on Vibes (tracks: 1, 3, 7, 12)
Bill Easley on Woodwinds (tracks: 2, 5, 9)
Jay Berliner on Guitar (tracks: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 14)
Recorded and Mixed at Nola Studios, NYC 1993
Engineer: Jim Czak
Mastering: Thomas Spahn, TRA Productions, Inc., NYC,
Producer: Ted Story
Illustration: Thomas Hubben
Photo: Ken Howard
Art Direction: Jerome Bunke, Digital House
Layout: Bob Forman, Digital House
"Crane's rich, jazz and blues-inflected voice" -
(WHERE NY MAGAZINE) in 15 lush, danceable arrangements created by Mike Renzi and featuring some of New York's finest musicians :
BILL EASLEY, SAX
JAY BERLINER, GUITAR
WARREN CHIASSON, VIBES
JAY LEONHART, CHIP JACKSON, AND STEVE LA SPINA ON BASS
PLUS MIKE RENZI ON PIANO
"BEST JAZZ RECORDING OF 1994. So sublimely satisfying, it's almost sinful! SMOKY BAR SONGS is that rare album that will please both lovers of fine jazz and fans of beguiling pop. Club standards, obscure gems and original tunes that deserve to become standards (Tom Toce, Lew Spence & Carroll Coates). Ms. Crane and Mr. Renzi make an alluring duo whose work here borders on the hypnotic. So pour yourself a tall, cool one, put on the headphones, kick off your shoes, lean back, close your eyes, and you'll be ready to be transported like I was."
JEFF ROSEN - GAY CHICAGO MAGAZINE
"There is nothing better than a vocalist with a deep, dark vibrato and great intonation. If you like June Christy, Billie Holliday, or Ann Richards, then you'll like this one."
R. ROMUS - JAZZ NOW
"This recording puts Crane in the forefront of Gotham's premier jazz artists."
MARTIN SCHAEFFER - BACKSTAGE NY
"These songs, some of them rarely performed today, probe the depths of the inner soul. It takes a rare artist to interpret these, and Crane is that and more."
RON DELLA CHIESA - WGBH FM BOSTON
"Frank Sinatra is taken for granted as the great ambassador of the after hour blues. Cynthia Crane ventures into that world of melancholy and regret and convinces you that those lyrics, written so long ago, are still as fresh and new as the minute."
MIKE RAPCHAK - WGN RADIO, CHICAGO
"Cynthia Crane, A Treat!"
MICHAEL BOURNE - WBGO NJ
"Talk about atmosphere! SMOKY BAR SONGS FOR THE NO-SMOKING SECTION is so enticingly evocative of a smoky, scotch-scented nightclub that on first listen, we were tempted to throw on backless cocktail frocks and Italian pumps, and slink on down to our favorite jazz joint. This delightful new spin from Lookout Records has a wide range of appeal. So whether you're into blues, jazz, or pop, SMOKY BAR SONGS is sure to please."
MANDATE MAGAZINE, NY
"(Crane's recording) is a wonderfully evocative and atmospheric recreation of songs you'd hear in an old-fashioned jazz club. Her 'Drinkin' Again' Every emotional nuance, every pain, all the feelings of loneliness were beautifully articulated."