Saturday 3 December 2011

Review: Ike Moriz - Angel Eyes

Ike Moriz - Angel Eyes (Mosquito Records London)
The final album in the “Stardust” trilogy; a trio of albums released by Ike Moriz in 2009 that highlighted his love of the American songwriters of the middle decades of the 20th Century. Based in Capetown, SA, where I imagine he’s a regular attraction at the more sophisticated end of the nightclub scene, Moriz approaches all his recordings with utter professionalism, whether it’s big band balladeering, upbeat indie-pop and glam, or the easy swinging jazz of “Angel Eyes”.

As with “Body And Soul” and “Stardust”, the two companion records to “Angel Eyes”, Willie van Zyl leads the band, British pianist A. McPike provides the majority of the instrumental flare, and Moriz produces. They’re a formidable team, and as with previous recordings it’s easy to be impressed by both Moriz’s performance and the lean, piano-based arrangements. As always there’s plenty of material to rave about, and individual songs that sound perfectly suited to the classic BBC Radio 2 format. Three tracks in, their take on Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh’s “Witchcraft” is outstanding, with Moriz in fine vocal form and McPike expertly dancing around the keys. “Come Rain Or Come Shine” is lazy and languid, with the piano taking on an almost ‘swampy’ mood. “Try A Little Tenderness” became a soul standard in the ‘60s and ‘70s, but it was originally recorded by the Ray Noble Orchestra back in 1932. Here Moriz joins the dots with a nod to both camps, and it’s undoubtedly one of the highlights here.
Rob F.

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