2013 promises to be a banner year for Tom Wopat. From the Feb. 12 release of his eighth recording I've Got Your Number, to his role in Quentin Tarrantino's highly anticipated film Django Unchained, (released 2012 Christmas) and the release of the ABC -TV family musical movie Lovestruck, in which he stars with Jane Seymour. While one can't help recall his starring role in the '80's hit television series The Dukes of Hazzard, it is Tom Wopat, jazz vocalist and the Tony nominated star of Broadway that's been garnering high critical acclaim for the last two decades.
With I've Got Your Number, Tom's musical expedition has traveled into even more colorful territory. Backed by a thirty-piece orchestra, he fulfills his desire to focus on what he describes as the "orchestra/big band hybrid of the '60s and '70s." "Like the Bobby Darin stuff," he says. "Frank Sinatra did big band then, too., everybody did. And we really wanted to go for that -- in the standards as well as the contemporary tunes. We've evoked the spirit of the New York supper club era and the cool vibe of the Mad Men days. The recording swings hard and there's a lot of really fine music."
And, a lot of really fine singing, too! Listen to the way he romps through the different rhythms of "I've Got Your Number" and "The Good Life" - typical of his easygoing interaction with the grooves of his orchestra/big band backing. And, listen as well to the way he transforms the singer/songwriter tunes - James Taylor's "The Secret O' Life," Paul Simon's "The Afterlife," Judy Collins' "Since You Asked," Bruce Springsteen's "Meeting Across the River" -- into jazz-tinged renditions. And, to the sense of jazz authenticity that informs both Tom's singing and his interaction with the lush big band arrangements.
There's a large handful of uniquely appealing qualities all over the fourteen utterly captivating tracks. Tom applies his far-ranging interpretive skills and warm engaging baritone to discovering new, intriguing musical twists in such Great American Songbook classics as "The Folks Who Live On The Hill," "Call Me," "Born To Be Blue," "I Won't Dance" and, of course the title track. At first glance, that could be viewed as a surprisingly diverse program of material. But his versatility has been there throughout his career and on full display in a career reaching from his television work of the '70s and '80s to high visibility Broadway roles in 1999's Annie Get Your Gun and 2008's Catered Affair and more (he received Tony Award nominations for both), plus his previous musical releases, spanning standards (In the Still of the Night and Dissertation on the State of Bliss) into the jazz oriented sounds and rhythms that had always fascinated him (Consider it Swung). With the release of I've Got Your Number, Wopat truly feels he has found his stride. "Performing these songs the way we do on this recording is the most creative thing I do," Tom concludes. "It's extremely satisfying and fulfilling. And as long as it feels that way, I'm going to keep right on doing it."
Tom Wopat will celebrate the release of his album at 54 Below on Monday, February 25, 2013 (254 W. 54th St, NY 10019). Showtime 7 PM. Cover - $20-30/F&B min. $25. Maitre D & Reservations 646-476-3553. Purchase Tix 866-468-7419.
I'VE GOT YOUR NUMBER is set for release February 12, 2013. For more information, visit www.tomwopatofficial.com.