Bob McCarroll's CD, That Old Feeling, is a collection of jazz standards that he's rearranged and recorded. His style is quite lounge-like, and as I listened I imagined myself in the lobby of a hotel, on holiday and pretending to be rich.
Clarke Rigsby and Kyle Harris of Tempest studios in Arizona have done a great job of capturing the band, and the result is phenomenally natural and unobtrusive. Bob's vocal, in particular, sounds syrupy-smooth and warm, and I'd bet that one or more of Tempest's impressive array of ribbon mics was used during these sessions.
It's clearly a record made by highly experienced musicians who've honed their craft playing in bands over many a year. Jerry Donato's tenor sax, in particular, is great to listen to, but I feel bad picking someone out of a band that gels so well.
I wouldn't usually spontaneously choose to listen to this kind of music and, like many of my generation, I tend to turn to the 'usual suspects' when I want some jazz. Still, this is an undeniably enjoyable listen, if more than a little soporific due to the warmth and pace of the particular collection of tracks.
Bob McCarroll's album is the dream ticket for anyone running a restaurant in a well-populated tourist area. His swing jazz sound is literally so 'nice' I don't think it could rock the boat any more than a mouse might if it were stowed away on the QE2. While the tracks are perfectly well recorded, and Bob's vocals emulate the very best of Bublé-style swing jazz vocals, there just isn't the energy that I'd like to hear in an album like this to take it to the next level. At times, I felt as if it had been recorded so quietly that at any moment you might hear the producer turning the page of a newspaper as he waited for the session to end.
Overall, the best moments on the record are when Bob puts the standards to one side and sings his own tracks, as it's here that you feel a different level of enthusiasm in the performance. Maybe this is because he actually feels a sense of achievement when he sings them, who knows? Either way, I really hope the next album has even more of his own music, as I would hate to see him stuck in the lift-music rut that this genre of music so often falls into.