Mark Steyn, vocals
with orchestra conducted by Kevin Amos
For Christmas 2008, Mark teamed up with his old pal Jessica Martin on "A Marshmallow World" - and to their surprise it proved remarkably popular, reaching Number 7 on Amazon's easy listening chart, Number 41 on their main pop downloads. Three years later, their full-length album of Yuletide delights, Making Spirits Bright, reached Number Four on the jazz chart.
This year Mark's back with a quintet of solos plus some help from Jessica and another duettist pal Monique Fauteux. Goldfinger is a Steyn sampler covering six decades of songs from the loveliest ballad of the First World War to Ted Nugent's hard-rockin' classic "Cat Scratch Fever". It's not The Album of the Song of the Week, but it's no secret that Mark likes to write about songs he loves and he likes to sing songs he loves. So, entirely by coincidence, every track on this set has been featured as a Steyn Song of the Week at some point over the years.
After opening with a jazzy take on "Cat Scratch Fever" that Ted Nugent says "nails the soulfulness of my classic song", Mark ropes in Jessica for first-class passage on Frank Loesser's "Slow Boat To China". That's followed by a swingin' romp through the Sixties pop hit "Can't Take My Eyes Off You", before Mark switches to French for "De Quoi A-T-Elle L'Air Ce Soir?" - better known as "The Way You Look Tonight".
After the Great American Songbook, Mark turns to three favorites from the Great British Songbook: Monique Fauteux joins him for an epic, heart-rending rendition of the Great War's greatest ballad, "Roses Of Picardy", after which Steyn goes full Bond - martinis, Aston Martins, and a wild ride through "Goldfinger". He closes out the set with a low-key reflective interpretation of "The Very Thought Of You". Featuring sparkling arrangements by Kevin Amos and performances by some of London's best musicians, Goldfinger will leave you stirred and occasionally shaken.
Every song is available collectively in old-fashioned CD form, or individually via digital download for instant gratification. Simply click on the titles below:
1) Cat Scratch Fever
2) On A Slow Boat To China
3) Can't Take My Eyes Off You
4) De Quoi A-T-Elle L'Air Ce Soir?
5) Roses Of Picardy
6) Goldfinger (including James Bond Theme)
7) The Very Thought Of You