At The Movies CD review by Jazz Journal

At The Movies review by Mark Gilbert from Jazz Journal

Gary Williams confesses himself at the edge of jazz, more in the world of cabaret. He made his name with various big bands and orchestras, including the BBC Concert Orchestra. But we all know that jazz and cabaret share the same rich seam of show and movie material, the overlap between the two beyond unravelling. The presence here of How Deep Is Your Love might have some jazz fans blanching but as ever, the truth is in the interpretation. The “movies” are the pretext for a varied and often modern programme covering work ranging from Joni Mitchell (Both Sides featured in Love Actually) to Randy Newman (from Toy Story 2), Burt Bacharach and Irving Berlin.

Williams has taken care to set his mahogany baritone in high quality arrangements (by Phil Steel, Paul Campbell and Caleb Collins – to whom thanks for some crafty re-harmonisations) and the whole set is sprinkled with obbligati and solos from some of London’s finest, including Graeme Blevins (e.g., flute on Spooky and Getzian tenor on Almost In Love), Nigel Price and Anthony Kerr (e.g. on Ev’rybody Wants To Be A Cat). The three-star rating reflects the fact it’s not a full-on jazz set. For the whole project, it’s a four.