This CD arrived just as we were going to press, so it has been slotted in to this feature literally at the last minute. This means that space is limited, so the following comments should be regarded as a ‘teaser’ to a feature on Gary that will appear in our next issue. RFS members who saw him with the magnificent John Wilson Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in the Spring of 2003 will know that he certainly understands how to handle a song. Other readers will have seen him in various concerts around Britain and there is no doubt that he is building a strong following of loyal fans. Although Gary often sings songs that are associated with the great stars of the past half century, he doesn’t try to copy them note for note. Sensibly he is developing his own style, and this new CD must surely be the very best thing he has done to date. He can handle the ballads and swing numbers with the same gentle ease and it all seams so effortless. Yet in the background there is the strong impression that you are listening to a fine young singer who has worked hard at his craft, and who has a great future ahead of him.
His choice of material includes several titles that are lesser known (full marks for that) and it is so pleasing to hear some unfamiliar verses. The CD booklet informs us that the lush orchestrations are by Andrew Cottee – we must find out some more about him. The John Wilson Orchestra perform as brilliantly as always, and this is a superior quality product from start to finish. It should be in the Christmas stocking of everyone who appreciates the finest popular music that is around in 2004. David Ades for Journal Into Melody