Eclectic is the latest release from crooner Jonathan Karrant, recorded by Josh Connolly at Studio A in Las Vegas. The album title is true to its name as Karrant takes us on an eclectic vocal journey ranging from jazz standards to unique arrangements of recognizable pop tunes.
His mesmerizing voice will trigger memories of nights by the fireplace, listening to the torch song stylings of Steve Lawrence and Paul Anka especially on his versions of “Once Upon a Time” and “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most.” Karrant shines vocally, à la Mel Torme, on the uptempo swing numbers “Pure Imagination” and Jerome Kern’s classic “The Song Is You,” supported by a burning vibes solo on the latter by James Whiting and some smooth scat singing from Karrant.
Karrant belts out a soul-drenched version of Macy Gray’s tune “First Time,” not to be outdone by creative vocal stylings and musical arrangements on Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles” and Smokey Robinson’s “Tracks of My Tears.”
Karrant calls in two musical heavyweights, vocalist Jane Manheit and tenor sax legend Houston Person for the album’s single release “Love Dance.” The duet interplay with Manheit flows eloquently amid the tender tones from Person’s sax.
The album concludes with a gospel blues rendition of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth,” with pianist Joe Alterman providing a boatload of torrid blues licks climaxing into some hip scat vocal phrases from Karrant, segueing into a tender vocal take on James Taylor’s “Secret of Life,” a perfect elixir to an enjoyable listen of classic tunes from the vast American songbook.