Jon Regen operates in the area where singer/songwriter meets jazz, with a lot more accent on the former. For this album his piano is joined by the bass and drums team from Elvis Costello’s Imposters, Davey Faragher and Pete Thomas. It’s produced by Mitchell Froom.
Regen is nowhere near Randy Newman in talent (but then who is?) but he takes a similar approach to songwriting and performing, using a sharp scalpel to excise any indulgences.
He might have been a protége of Kenny Barron’s (according to the press release) but he keeps any jazz piano to a minimum here, and that turns out to be a strength, too. His voice reminds me a little of Marc Cohn, but maybe that’s because although he doesn’t sing about Walking In Memphis, he does do a song called Walk On Water.
In the end, it’s not that Jon Regen is exceptional in any way that is his charm – it’s that he is fairly ordinary. That everyday, guy next door at the old Joanna quality makes this album quite easy to live with, whether as an accompaniment to preparing the evening meal or settling down to an evening with friends and a good glass of something in the Pizza Express in Dean Street, Soho. That latter context is particularly pertinent because that’s where Regen will be this weekend (two sessions on Saturday and one on Sunday).
- For more details about these gigs, where he’ll be playing music from this album, go here.
Categories: CD review