Steve Tyrell shares good music by good friends on That Lovin' Feeling
The 11th studio album by standards crooner Steve Tyrell is what the artist refers to as “the Great American Songbook two; the next generation of the Songbook.” His latest collection titled, That Lovin' Feeling, is a Concord Records release featuring seminal rock era classics written by legendary songwriters—many penned at New York’s famed Brill Building—who Tyrell cherishes as longtime friends. The album also sets itself apart by featuring legendary guest artists Barry Mann, B.J. Thomas, Neil Sedaka and Bill Medley along with renowned backup singer Judith Hill and Tyrell's daughter, Lauryn Tyrell. In addition, key instrumental contributions are provided by Mike Stoller, keyboardist Chuck Leavell, and saxophonist Dave Koz.
That Lovin' Feeling highlights the “enduring magic of timeless songs” written by individual artists and songwriting teams including Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, and songwriters Burt Bacharach, Neil Sedaka, Toni Wine and Carole Bayer Sager. A press announcement from Concord Records goes on to state the album is a “unique, highly personal project” for Tyrell, further describing the 15-track set as an “intimate, decidedly jazzy window into Tyrell's storied roots in the music business.”
Tyrell puts his own “natural, charismatic flair” on songs such as ‘Jazzman’ by Carole King, whose Broadway show, “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” inspired Tyrell to explore this era of his musical life. He also sings the Goffin-King composition ‘Up on the Roof,’ one of three songs on the album recorded by The Drifters. The enduring Leiber-Stoller catalog is further showcased by The Drifters' ‘There Goes My Baby’ and Elvis’ ‘Hound Dog,’ featuring keyboardist Chuck Leavell and some of the original lyrics from the pre-Elvis version by Big Mama Thornton.
An intimate reading of ‘Stand By Me’ features Stoller on Hammond B-3 organ, and Tyrell's “joyful immersion” into the Mann & Weil catalog includes the lush Dusty Springfield ballad ‘Just A Little Lovin’’ featuring Judith Hill. ‘Rock & Roll Lullaby’ is performed as a duet with its original artist, B.J. Thomas, as is ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin' Feelin',” the signature Righteous Brothers’ tune presented in a “soul stirring tandem” by Tyrell and the iconic duo’s Bill Medley. Neil Sedaka also steps in to turn his ‘Laughter in the Rain’ into a duet with Tyrell. The track list is rounded it out with the memorable titles ‘Be My Baby,’ ‘Chapel of Love,’ ‘Groovy Kind of Love,’ ‘Just a Little Lovin' (Early in the Morning),’ ‘On Broadway,’ and ‘Any Day Now.’
“These sessions took me back to a lot of special moments in my life,” says Tyrell, who writes in the album’s liner notes that this latest effort is “… the most fun album I have recorded to date … and it's the closest to the real me.” Steve Tyrell kicks off a schedule of spring performances at the Jazz Alley in Seattle (Feb. 26-Mar. 1), followed by shows in Palm Desert, Calif. (Mar. 5); a residency at the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, Fla. (Mar. 10-21); and a two-night stand at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis (Mar. 23-24). Other live events are planned for Bozeman, Mont. (Mar. 26), Whitefish, Mont. (Mar. 28), Wickenburg, Ariz. (Apr. 2), San Juan Capistrano, Calif. (Apr. 4), and two weekends at Feinstien’s at Hotel Nikko in San Francisco (Apr. 9-12, Apr. 16-19).
Watch Steve Tyrell step into the role of Bobby Hatfield as he and the song’s other original recording artist, Bill Medley, perform a rendition of the Righteous Brothers’ ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.’
As A Matter of Fact…
* Steve Tyrell was born Stephen Louis Bilao, III, on December 19, 1944, in Houston. He played in local R&B bands before moving to New York City after high school. He quickly took a job at Florence Greenberg's Scepter Records, assuming a variety of roles from A&R rep to promotions man to artist producer.
* Tyrell began working with top songwriting teams and artists at age 19, working on several Burt Bacharach and Hal David compositions for Dionne Warwick including ‘The Look of Love’ and ‘Alfie.’ He also worked with B.J. Thomas on the hit ‘Hooked On A Feeling’ and the Bacharach-David song, ‘Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head,’ which won the 1969 Best Original Song Oscar for the film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”
* As a performer, Tyrell broke out after performing ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ from the 1991 soundtrack to the film “Father of the Bride.” He also contributed two songs for the soundtrack to the 1995 sequel, “Father of the Bride, Pt. 2.” In 1999, Tyrell’s album of standards titled A New Standard was a Top 5 hit on the Billboard jazz albums chart. He has since released a total of 11 Top 10 albums featuring American Songbook and pop music classics.
* At the request of the Sinatra family and Quincy Jones, Tyrell was the featured performer with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra at Frank Sinatra’s posthumous 2005 induction into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. The family also asked that Tyrell reprise the performance at Carnegie Hall—one of the few times the family has consented to share original Sinatra arrangements with another artist.
* Steve Tyrell’s work as a record producer includes collaborations with a who’s who of top artists from Ray Charles, Dolly Parton and Smokey Robinson to Rod Stewart, Diana Ross and Linda Ronstadt. He’s also helmed projects for Stevie Wonder; Bette Midler; Aaron Neville; Bonnie Raitt; Blood, Sweat & Tears; and Mary J Blige.
* As a music supervisor/producer for film and TV, Tyrell has worked with directors Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Nancy Meyers, Steven Soderbergh, Hugh Wilson, and Charles Shyer. He also produced an album with late actor Andy Griffith that won a 1995 Grammy for Gospel Album of the Year.
* Tyrell won a Grammy in 2004 for producing Rod Stewart's Great American Songbook, Volume III album. He also owns a daytime Emmy, an All That Jazz Award from the American Society of Young Musicians, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Singers, and in 2008 was named Jazz Vocalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Jazz Society.