Reviews of the Curtis Stigers album, Secret Heart. Read what “the experts” are saying.
“Curtis Stigers represents – as Diana Krall does – a carefully manicuredncherishing of a long-gone musical past. Yet, like Krall, Stigers is a musician of taste and intelligence whose instrumental skills have informed his singing. This disc is a mixture of old Broadway standards and newer pieces such as Randy Newman’s It’s So Hard Living Without You. It is inevitably a little cheesy at times, but the singer has a laconically conversational manner, like a blend of Nat King Cole and Mose Allison without the irony, and his bar-fly voice sounds charismatically a lot older than he is. A fine group, with pianist Larry Goldings and the sonorous bass playing of John Clayton (who delivers a sublime intro to My Foolish Heart) making this an urbane and skilful operation.”
“Secret Heart (Concord) will do the singer’s musical cred no harm with an agreeable trawl through the American songbook (Henry Mancini, Cole Porter). There’s cheese, yes, but charm too, and mingled in are well-chosen more modern songs from Ron Sexsmith and Steve Earle plus a fine take on Randy Newman’s poignant It’s So Hard Living Without You.”
“Secret Heart proves every bit as convincing as last year’s release, Baby Plays Around. Stigers swoops into lyrics, and has the confidence to mix Arlen and Cole Porter with a tasteful sprinkling of contemporary songs, headed by Ron Sexsmith’s title number and Steve Earle’s “Hometown Blues.”
Christopher Loudon, Jazz Times
“As the pool of credible male vocalists grows ever shallower, Stigers’ bravura Secret Heart is proof positive that this guy is ready to join the ranks of Kurt Elling and Mark Murphy.”