It Had to Be You
When Doug Ferony sings, his warm voice, high musicianship, enthusiasm, and sincerity make the music he performs infectious and joyful, even when he is interpreting a touching ballad. It is always obvious that he loves timeless standards and has the voice and phrasing to make them sound fresh and relevant. While he makes no secret of his love for the singing of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Dean Martin and Bobby Darin, he does not feel compelled to merely copy his predecessors and instead displays a sound of his own within the tradition of first-class singing. Lovers, a set of a dozen classic love songs, is Doug Ferony's finest recording to date but his career has already included a variety of accomplishments. "When I was very young," remembers Doug, "my parents played Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Tony Bennett and Dean Martin records around the house in addition to Rosemary Clooney and Ella Fitzgerald. I remember being very impressed by Frank Sinatra at an early age." While growing up, he played drums for a time, inspired by Buddy Rich. However by the time Doug was in high school, he knew that he wanted to pursue a career in singing. In 1985, Doug Ferony moved to Los Angeles where he studied voice with Howard Austin and started gigging. He also went to acting school and began working in films. Through the years he has appeared in many major motion pictures including Back To School, GoodFellas, Spiderman II, and The Brave One in addition to such television series as Law & Order and The Sopranos. But singing before audiences has been his main love. Doug spent much of the 1990s in New York and fondly remembers performing three nights a week with a trio at the World Trade Center during 1995-96, singing regularly at the Supper Club with his big band, and with a piano duo at Tavern On The Green. Doug currently performs all over the country including at supper clubs, casinos, racetracks, cruises and concerts, and he recently worked a show at the Paramount Center for the Arts with veteran singer Al Martino. Lovers is Doug Ferony's eighth CD, following such popular recordings as I'm In Love With A Girl, This One's For You, Time After Time, It's Christmas, I Ain't Got You, and America's Greatest Songs. "Lovers is intimate and thoughtful," says Doug. "I wanted this to be a nice easy-listening candle-lit romantic CD. I've recorded a lot of uptempo swing in the past so this is a change of pace." On Lovers, Doug displays his versatility by being featured with four different groups. Dena DeRose, a major jazz pianist, accompanies Doug with her trio on four selections and participates in a delightful vocal duet on "S'Wonderful." "I've been working with Dena for many years. I really enjoy her singing and her embellishments." Three numbers team Doug with pianist Keith Slattery in a quartet that also features either tenor-saxophonist Rob Derke or trumpeter Tim Yedloutschnig. Four songs have the singer joined by an ensemble with strings and flutes arranged by Khadafy Khan, while "It Had To Be You" features the accompaniment of Clark Gault's orchestra. No matter the setting, Doug is heard throughout uplifting classic standards. Doug Ferony's heartfelt version of "As Time Goes By" revives the insightful lyrics about relationships. Derke's tenor fills are quite effective. Doug was inspired to record "I Remember You" after hearing versions by Diana Krall and Tony Bennett. Khadafy Khan's writing for the flutes is inspired. Although he had recorded "That's All" years ago, Doug felt that it was a classic love song that fit the concept of this CD so he created a new version. "I've Got A Crush On You" is given a swinging rendition with the assistance of Dena DeRose's trio. "S'Wonderful has wonderful vocal interplay by Doug and Dena. "It Had To Be You," a standard since the early 1930s, is given a particularly romantic interpretation with nice spots for trumpeter Gary Pack and trombonist Clark Gault. "The Girl From Ipanema" contrasts Rob Derke's modern tenor playing with Khadafy Khan's romantic writing for strings and Doug's yearning vocal. "I Thought About You" features the singer swinging nice and easy with the Dena DeRose Trio. He really digs into the lyrics of "When I Fall In Love," with the beautiful playing of trumpeter Tim Yedloutschnig adding to this version's appeal. The flutes, strings and percussion fit in perfectly with Doug's warm voice on Jobim's "Meditation." After a fine rendition of the Helen Forrest/Harry James hit "I Had The Craziest Dream," the memorable program ends optimistically with a colorful version of "If I Had You." "What I enjoy most about standards and swing is that I can understand and relate to the lyrics. I pride myself in doing justice to lyrics and I try to bring a lot of passion and fun to the music" Doug Ferony succeeds on all levels throughout Lovers, making the classic songs and vintage lyrics sound as if they were written specifically for him to communicate to today's listeners. Scott Yanow, Author of ten jazz books including The Jazz Singers, Swing, Trumpet Kings, Jazz On Film, and Jazz On Record 1917-76.