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Romantic spirit of Valentine's Day lingers on Bob Rawleigh's new CD
(Published: April 28, 2012)

Valentine's Day may have ended, but its hopelessly romantic spirit continues to linger on vocalist Bob Rawleigh's new album, Classic Songs for the Love of My Life.

As revealed by its title, it's a collection of music that cradles the heart. However, unlike most jazz compilations of Valentine covers, Rawleigh isn't afraid to step beyond genre boundaries. In other words, a few of the tracks on the record weren't even jazz originally. But Rawleigh's icy croon is such a natural fit to these songs that it feels they were initially meant to be that way.

The Beach Boys' 1966 angelic ballad "God Only Knows" is a sun-drenched transcendent beauty, one of the group's masterpieces of composition and recording ingenuity. "God Only Knows" unveiled the group's softer, spiritual side, offering an introspective take on their buoyant rock & roll. In Rawleigh's hands, the song becomes a haunting piano number. Rawleigh's soulful voice, especially when it begins to soar, is rooted in Gospel; consequently, the emotional weight in the lyrics is given a heavier undertow. It's almost as if Rawleigh is singing to God himself. Similarly, when Rawleigh interprets Stephen Bishop's 1982 pop hit "It Might Be You," the tune's original Adult Contemporary leanings are shed for an exercise in raw passion.

When Rawleigh does return to standard jazz fare, he nevertheless invests familiar material with his own depth of feeling. For example, the opening track "When I Fall in Love" is truly moving because the unguarded affection in Rawleigh's voice truly caresses the ears. The album is no doubt a labor of love for Rawleigh but not just to his significant other, either; it's a gift to his creator, the one who blessed him with such impeccable talent.

More Information: http://bobrawleigh.com

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