“It’s a breath of fresh air”
Trish Hennessey, WSMJ-FM, Baltimore
(on Danny Lerman’s CD, Meow Babv)
The fact that Danny Lerman’s current album title, Meow Baby, comes from a line in an episode of Kojak proves that saxophonist Danny Lerman knows how to have fun. He also knows retro cool when he sees it. Lerman took a page from the 1970s when recording his third album, Meow Baby, on Sugar Whiskey Records, distributed by Lightyear Entertainment/EMI. Danny adopted old school sensibilities by utilizing live musicians and having a hand in writing all the new compositions for the disc. Tal Bergman, who worked on Lerman’s debut album, produced ten songs on Meow Baby and a few tracks were produced by urban-jazz icon Norman Connors. Radio programmers are already whetting their appetite for the CD with Gotcha!, a deep-pocketed groove that bursts into a chorus as sweet as one of Kojak’s Tootsie Pops.
Since his last album release, Lerman traveled and performed around the world, including Turkey, Israel, Holland, South Africa, Venezuela and Mexico. He brought influences and musicians from the countries he visited into the studio when recording Meow Baby. While the tracks swing towards contemporary jazz, urban and adult pop, there are also traces of World Music, Middle Eastern, Latin and South African rhythms. The South Bend, Indiana native, who plays alto, tenor, soprano and sopranino sax, recorded the majority of the collection in Los Angeles where he was joined by Randy Brecker, Hubert Laws, Howard Hewett, Paul Jackson Jr., Bobby Lyle, and Munyungo Jackson. Bergman, who played drums on records by Rod Stewart, Billy Idol, Loreena McKennitt, Herb Alpert, and Chaka Khan, was behind the drum kit on most of the album.
Tal brought infectious rhythms that were both exciting and exotic. His strong rhythmic influences made the tracks spicy, explained Lerman. I wanted this record to be a glimpse into my world, including some of the friends that I’ve made in my travels. I put both myself and the places Ive been into the music. There’s definitely variety on this record; you don’t know what’s coming next. Ive found some great players from all parts of the world and they brought their unique perspective to the album.
Lerman’s a riveting performer who has played with Peabo Bryson and Howard Hewett, is touring with Norman Connors, Danny Boy and Jean Carne and shared concert bills with Herbie Hancock, Sergio Mendes, Richard Elliot, David Benoit, Eric Marienthal and the Ghetto Boys. Lerman also performs as a guest soloist with symphonies doing his original songs.
Danny got his first job at age 13 with a jazz big band, then studied with Charles Atkins, who taught Motown Icon, Jr. Walker and Danny’s Uncles.
Lerman composed and recorded his first CD, Do you Feel? in South Bend, Indiana and built his name touring the Midwest. “At North Texas they didn’t teach me how to dance or front a band. I learned on the job, at least fronting the band.”
Danny partnered with producer Tal Bergman for his next CD, Danny’s Island, performing and writing with bassist, Oskar Cartaya and flutist, Dave Valentine The CD Dannys Island, reached the top 20 on the Contemporary Jazz charts of record industry publication Radio & Records, and the single, Take My Breath Away, reached the #1 position on the playlist of WGCI, Chicago’s number one urban music station. Danny’s compositions are also featured in the movie soundtracks Wedding Bell Blues, and Kill Me Later. As a special treat, Take My Breath Away, will be re-issued as a bonus track on Meow Baby. Tony Bennett described Danny Lerman most aptly, Beautiful Music, Man!
“Danny’s compositions are also featured in the movie soundtracks “Wedding Bell Blues,” and “Kill Me Later.” As a special treat, Take My Breath Away, will be re-issued as a bonus track on “Meow Baby”.
Tony Bennet described Danny Lerman most aptly, “Beautiful Music, Man!”
The reaction to the CD Meow Baby has been overwhelming. Here is a sampling….
All Music Guide: “With 15 compositions to lighten your mood, set a romantic theme, or just keep you chillin’ to his contemporary saxophonics, Danny Lerman and his special guests have delivered a set that is as personal as a love song and as accessible as a sunny day on a tropical island.”
Baltimore Times: “The CD is very hot…The influences of the various countries can be heard on the album. The combinations of the sax, flute and trumpet make for an excellent work of art.”
Reno Gazette-Journal: “Saxophonist Danny Lerman’s approach to contemporary jazz is like a paleontological expedition, a layer cake that represents a variety of musical influences coalesced through his sensibilities…At the center of it all is Lerman’s horn, a frequently mellifluous approach that can erupt into a growl — rather than the meow referenced in the album title.”
Jazz Review: “There is a musicality that leaps off the disc and a degree of composition consistent with the best music currently heard on contemporary jazz radio….The opener, “Meow Baby,” is a great composition in the new tradition of up-tempo and strong groove oriented music making the airwaves these days, and “The First Time” floats as prettily as a sailboat on a calm sea.”
Smooth Jazz Therapy: “The pedigree of ‘Meow Baby’ is impeccable…. He co-writes a dozen of the songs and, with sumptuous playing from beginning to end, is making a statement that Danny Lerman is all set to move into the upper echelon of contemporary saxophonists.”
N2Entertainment.net: “… This isn’t one of those CD’s you’ll be skipping around tracks as every single one is a sure-fire hit…”
Smooth Jazz Daily “With Meow Baby, Danny Lerman will establish his status as an accomplished sax player and composer in the smooth jazz genre.”