Saturday, 5 November 2011
Review: Ike Moriz - Blue Moon
Ike Moriz - Blue Moon (Mosquito Records London)
A genuine all-round entertainer, Moriz has acted in various feature films (“Love Actually”, “Alfie”, “Shanghai Knights”, etc.), became a regular on TV screens (“Eastenders”, “The Bill”, etc.) and has released a series of albums in various genres. David Bowie is a fan.
Blue Moon was his eighth studio album, originally released in 2010, and it’s an intriguing collection of easy listening styles, with attention-grabbing arrangements and a fascinating selection on songs. It’s an advantage Moriz holds over great singers of the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s, there’s been an awful lot of great pop music written since their heyday, and there’s no reason why some of those songs can’t be adapted to swing and jazz. Which isn’t to say that Moriz ignores the classics, but it does allow for fine versions of The Beatles “Nowhere Man” or Rodgers and Hart’s “Blue Moon”, a song which dates back to the first half of the century, but was made famous by Elvis.
He sings a cluster of songs many will know from movies; “What A Wonderful World” is measured and unhurried, and floats gently from the speakers. “Blue Velvet” becomes a love song again, with pianist / arranger A.McPike doing some sterling work. “From Russia With Love” was the theme to the Bond film of the same name (written by Lionel Bart and sung on the soundtrack by Matt Monro), and here Moriz sticks close to the source while band-leader Willie van Zyl does some wonderful stuff with strings and things.