Henry Darragh,
Tell Her for Me
(independent, 2009)

Henry Darragh has a cocktail lounge-like 11 tracks on Tell Her for Me -- five standards and six of his own compositions, delivered with a voice like an indie singer/songwriter.

Darragh has an unusual style. He is not a natural singer, but his vocals are pleasing. They have a reedy, sometimes hesitant feel, and he sometimes struggles to reach the high notes. This works well with his selections. He breezes through "Hey There." His everyman tone fits in with "Everything Happens to Me," and his lost love works "Regret," "Dream Boxes" and "Missing You." Those three are subdued, with the latter just backed with Darragh's piano.

Darragh also plays trombone on "Early," the only instrumental, with a guitar filling in for the piano. The CD's rhythm section of Darragh, bass and drums gives a bouncy rhythm punctuated by tenor sax, trumpet and guitar solos.

His singing is like an instrumentalist, as he often uses the lyrics like notes that are played, rather than interpreting them for their meaning.

He ends with his own humorous "The Harvard Dictionary of Music Song," where the lyrics are taken right from the aforementioned book.

Darragh has a fresh approach to the heavy populated area of jazz singing.

[ visit the artist's website ]

music review by
Dave Howell

19 March 2011

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