Joe Bourne and the Gary Moran Trio

Remembering Mr. Cole


This Is My Night To Dream; The Best Man; Besame Mucho; You're Looking At Me; Frim Fram Sauce; Satchel Mouth Baby; Slow Down; Sunny Side Of The Street; 'Tis Autumn; Little Girl; When I Fall In Love; Walkin' My Baby Back Home; Sweet Lorraine; Orange Colored Sky; Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby; For All We Know.

Joe Bourne - Vocal; Gary Moran, piano; Scott Black, bass; Ed DeLucia, guitar

This is the American CD debut for singer Joe Bourne, a Boston native who put out 10 albums while living in Holland for 25 years. A tribute to Nat King Cole, Bourne took a big gamble in covering 16 tunes associated with Cole and being a virtual sound-alike. The backing trio is the same instrumentation as in Nat's classic group - piano, bass, and guitar (no drums). Often such tributes beg the question "Why make this record? Why not just go out and get the original material?" But this CD succeeds admirably, and I found myself enjoying repeated listenings. One reason is that Bourne chose many lesser-known songs to cover, and chose them well. It was a delight for me to discover such tunes as "This Is My Night To Dream" and "The Best Man." Sure the lyrics are dated, but like all of Cole's music, these tunes evoke an era more innocent and less jaded than that reflected in today's popular music. Bourne and his musicians bring a real feeling of joy to the entire date. Most of the songs are up-tempo and have a real sense of swing - it's clear these musicians had a good time making this record. There are also 3 ballads, beautifully handled by Bourne and the instrumentalists. The sound quality and production values are wonderful on every track.

The CD mostly adheres to original lyrics, phrasing, and arrangements. Again, this takes some chutzpah, but they pull it off.;The songs all clock in between 2:11 and 4:21, not leaving much room for the instrumentalists to show off. But by the end of the CD each musician has had a chance to prove his talents, and, throughout, there is great rapport in the group. On some of the better-known songs, they mix it up just a bit - on "Sunny Side Of The Street," Donald Trump replaces Rockefeller as the standard of wealth, and "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby" sees them starting in a slow tempo and swinging more by the end. But mostly, what you get is an enjoyable date that will make you fondly recall Nat King Cole and the popular music of the1940s.

by Howard Feldstein