East On 36 EO3600003

Vocals: Graham McGregor-Smith; 
Backing vocals: Graham McGregor-Smith (with Bridin Mills on Flyover); Whistle: Graham McGregor-Smith; Keys: Julian Hinton; Gareth Mills on Flyover; Drums: Simon Price; Bass: Raph Mizraki; Graham McGregor-Smith on Flyover; Guitar: Jeremy Cook; Denny Ilett; Andy Evans & Gareth Mills (on Flyover); Trumpet & Flugelhorn: Tom Walsh; Trombone: Nichol Thomson; Saxophone & Clarinet: Paul Booth

Recorded between September 2022 & March 2023

McGregor-Smith has collected a collection of songs that he has written that shows his admiration for some of his own composers and lyricists. This includes Tin Pan Alley and the Great American Songbook, but also from many other genres and therefore makes passing references to rock, blues and gospel as well as swing.

As you will gather this is not a jazz album per se, but there are some neat solos form the band, and the music does swing. Perhaps to be viewed more as an album by a singer/songwriter that contains a collection of memorable songs, there is much to be enjoyed.

The opening ‘(Would you really) trade me in? Swings with a nice nonchalance from the band with some clever lyrics from McGregor-Smith, and this is continued on the equally fine ‘The First Time (I Saw New York) with a compact arrangement and effective deployment of the horns.

McGregor tackles the bossa nova in the gentle ‘Close to Good Enough’, and the ballad ‘I could have cried over you’ is a poignant tale of longing that is most engaging. There is also an authentic blues in the title track.

As a collection of original songs this is a most enjoyable album, but for readers of a website such as this, it may prove to be little short on any jazz.