Review of Protege

by Doug Ramsey

Arts Journal

“The current short supply of effective male singers with jazz leanings makes Thumbnail image for joesardaro.jpgthe release of a new recording by Sardaro a welcome event. The market is not saturated with his albums. His last one, Lost in the Stars, was a 1986 LP with a combo headed by Shelly Manne. It has never been reissued on CD. The Boston-area Winiker Brothers Quintet accompanying him on the new CD is less widely known but excellent. Sardaro employs his light baritone to pleasant effect in a set of 16 well-chosen songs, some of them rarely performed. I haven’t heard anyone do Charles La Vere’s “Mis’ry and the Blues” since Jack Teagarden’s 1961 recording. It’s interesting to hear it in the company of songs by, among others, Jobim, Kern, Ellington and McCartney. Sardaro is touching in his revival of the Arthur Schwartz-Dorothy Fields rarity “Alone Too Long.” As I wrote in a review of his 1986 album, in the absence of a spectacular vocal instrument, Sardaro uses taste, swing, diction and lyric interpretation. The CD’s title recognizes Sardaro’s debt to Anita O’Day, who encouraged him when he was young and with whom he kept a close relationship for the rest of her life.”
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