Erik Leuthauser: In The Land Of Ronny Whyte

German singer duets with New York cabaret man Ronny Whyte in a set recalling the hip sophistication of Matt Dennis and Bobby Troup

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Singer and pianist Ronny Whyte is a man of many parts. A mainstay of the New York jazz-cabaret scene he has also appeared in the demanding roles of Bobby in Stephen Sondheim’s Company and Joey in Rodgers and Hart’s Pal Joey.

He’s a fine pianist, good enough to have appeared on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz on NPR. His 11 albums for Audiophile have been critically acclaimed and his 1988 All In A Night’s Work was selected as a Jazz Album Of The Week by the New York Times.

German-born Erik Leuthauser is an academy-trained singer with excellent intonation and articulation in his second language. He clearly has sympathy for the idiom but his delivery might benefit from a little more vibrato here and there. That said, he has sung backgrounds for Quincy Jones, George Benson and Dee Dee Bridgewater and has been described as The Upcoming Voice in German Jazz.

He has selected a number of Whyte’s intimate originals which occasionally call to mind the hip, sophisticated territory associated with Matt Dennis and Bobby Troup from long ago. Titles like Here’s Looking At You, People, Places, Things (a duet with the composer) and Something To Write Home About have a delicate, almost wistful charm contrasting with the down-home feel of I’ll Tell You What – a blues with a bridge performed by the composer alone.

Special mention should be made of Leuthauser’s long-time collaborator Wolfgang Kohler for his discreet accompaniment throughout. 

Discography
(1) Here’s Looking At You; (2) People, Places, Things; (1) Something To Write Home About; Paris In The Snow; Always December; My Heart Has A Mind Of Its Own; (3) I’ll Tell You What; (1) The Lady’s In Love With You; Are You With Me?; A Face Like Yours; The Legacy; The Ballad Of The Sad Young Men; Berlin Ist’ne Beruchtigte Stadt (36.19)
(1) Leuthauser (v); Wolfgang Kohler (p). Berlin, March 2020. (2) as (1) add Ronny Whyte (v). (3) as (2) omit Leuthauser (v).
Mons Records MR 874759