I was there: Roger Kellaway Plays From The Bobby Darin Songbook Album Track Listing

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WORKS: Beyond the Sea, Charade, My Buddy, Just in Time, When I Look in Your Eyes, The Shadow of Your Smile, I was There, I’m Beginning to See the Light, A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square, When Your Lover has Gone, That’s All, My Funny Valentine, All By Myself, Something in Your Smile
PERFORMER: Roger Kellaway


Pianist Roger Kellaway served as

Bobby Darin’s music director in

the late 1960s and more recently

worked in that capacity on Kevin

Spacey’s biopic about the mercurial

singer, Beyond the Sea. Repertoire

associated with Darin provides

a springboard for Kellaway’s

considerable solo piano expertise.

Kellaway is a virtuoso who

eschews symmetrical dazzle in

favour of long, winding and often colliding two-handed phrases

(‘Beyond the Sea’ and ‘Just in

Time’), and finds fresh meanings

in old chestnuts (his slow, gospeltinged

spin on ‘My Buddy’ and

medium swing approach to

‘That’s All’).

Barrelhouse brass figures and

loping left-hand stride never

overstay their welcome, while

Kellaway’s elastically impassioned

vocal on ‘Something in Your

Smile’ weaves around his ravishing

reharmonisations. Other highlights

include a shimmering ‘My Funny

Valentine’ and a Bartók-meetsbebop

essay on ‘I’m Beginning to

See the Light’. Gene Lees’s superb

booklet notes cap this invigorating,

beautifully engineered release. Jed Distler