[members-announce] press release Ron Kaplan*Kapland Records Lounging Around Redux 2006

KAPLANDISC at aol.com KAPLANDISC at aol.com
Tue Aug 1 19:56:35 EDT 2006


For Immediate Release...
    
RON KAPLAN
 
One of today’s finest singers of jazz standards, Ron Kaplan has carved out an 
exemplary career over the course of five albums by following in the footsteps 
left by legends such as Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, Nat King Cole and Tony 
Bennett.  One of Kaplan’s best albums, LOUNGING AROUND, captures the mood and 
ambience of a small, hot jazz combo as if they were mesmerizing a martini-sipping 
crowd at an intimate lounge in any city, U.S.A.
 
Although recorded before his last album, SALOON, the LOUNGING AROUND CD had 
limited distribution (mostly sold at concerts) when originally released and it 
eventually went out of print.  Now remixed, remastered and substantially 
restructured, LOUNGING AROUND is receiving its first national distribution and full 
marketing campaign.
 
Ron Kaplan's LOUNGING AROUND and his other CDs are available at online sites 
(such as cdbaby.com, towerrecords.com), digital download locations (including 
iTunes.com, rhapsody.com) and Kaplan's own www.ronkaplan.com
 
LOUNGING AROUND features a full band of talented jazz musicians who went into 
the studio and served up the perfect backdrop for Kaplan’s rich, warm voice 
that is as tasteful as a fine wine, a bold and hearty vintage aged to 
smoothness like decades-old cabernet.  The bandmembers featured throughout are Larry 
Scala on guitar, Perry Thoorsell on bass and Guiseppe Merollaon on drums.  
Special guests are Donny McCaslin Jr. (who has played on two other Kaplan 
recordings) on tenor saxophone on four tunes, Steve Czarnecki on Hammond B3 organ on a 
pair of tracks, and Dmitri Matheny (a protégé of Art Farmer) on flugelhorn on “
How Insensitive.”  The musicians work well together (Scala and Thoorsell have 
played together for years) and each gets the chance to solo at some point.  
Kaplan was performing at the Santa Cruz Jazz Festival when Scala approached the 
singer about playing together and soon they did some gigs around Northern 
California. 
 
According to Kaplan, “LOUNGING AROUND is full of tunes reflecting lost love 
and relationships that don’t work, but with an undercurrent of redemption and 
hope always present, which is especially reflected in the closing piece, ‘What 
a Wonderful World’.  The whole album has a blue feel to it.  Searching for 
love, finding love and often losing love affects us all so strongly.  These are 
feelings that resonate with virtually everyone.”
 
Even though the songs would all be considered traditional jazz, the 
selections are quite diverse. There are several ballads, blues numbers ("Blues in the 
Night" and "No One Ever Tells You"), a Brazilian melody by Antonio Carlos Jobim 
("How Insensitive"), Cole Porter’s uptempo “Just One of Those Things,” the 
Lambert Hendricks & Ross self-pity wallow “Moanin’,” and jazz perennials such 
as Duke Ellington’s "Caravan."  Kaplan is not afraid to perform songs which 
are strongly associated with other performers, especially “What a Wonderful 
World,” made famous by Louis Armstrong.
 
“Of course I have been influenced by the great male jazz singers, but many 
people are surprised when I tell them I have been equally inspired by female 
singers.  Women seem especially adept at digging up great repertoire.  Julie 
London was a big influence.  On this album I do Arthur Hamilton’s ‘Cry Me a River’
 that was made famous by Peggy Lee in the Fifties, but I especially loved 
Julie’s version of it which had simple backing and really let her voice come 
through.  On this CD I also sing ‘I Surrender Dear’ which I first fell in love 
with when I heard it on a Julie London album.”
Ron has superb command of his flexible baritone that literally cocoons the 
listener within the cozy atmosphere of images he sings about and obviously 
believes in.  His trademarks are his sophisticated phrasing and the mature tonal 
qualities of his vocals.
In addition to his career as a concert performer and recording artist, Kaplan 
also is the founder and executive director of The American Songbook 
Preservation Society, a non-profit organization whose mission statement is: "To 
preserve our cultural treasure known as the Great American Songbook by performing 
this music at home and abroad as Ambassadors of Song."  For more information, go 
to greatamericansongbook.org.  "The Great American Songbook is full of what is 
known as popular standards -- great songs written generally between 1920 and 
1960, most often for Broadway shows or Hollywood musical films, but sometimes 
simply in the Tin Pan Alley tradition of pianists and lyricists working 
together to create quality material for the big bands or the pop singers of the day."
 
In the past few years Kaplan has performed in Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, 
New York, San Francisco and Washington DC.  He has made television 
appearances on "Musician's Weekly" and "BETonJazz."  He has played with musicians such 
as pianists Shelly Berg, Smith Dobson, Geoff Eales, Tom Garvin, Mark Levine, 
Dick Whittington and Jessica Williams; bassists Art Davis, Stan Poplin and Tom 
Warrington; horn-players Paul Contos, Ted Curson, Kenny Stahl, Dmitri Matheny 
and Donny McCaslin Jr.; and drummers Dan Brubeck, Donald Dean, Tootie Heath, 
Peppe Merolla and Matt Wilson.
 
Kaplan's other albums are HIGH STANDARDS (with piano, bass and drums as well 
as two sax players), DEDICATED (featuring piano and three saxophones as well 
as flugelhorn, flute and some strings), JAZZ AMBASSADORS (piano, bass and 
drums), and SALOON (Ron’s voice showcased with only Brazilian Weber Iago’s piano). 
 
Kaplan was born in Hollywood and was immediately surrounded by music.  His 
father played trumpet in jazz-bands in the Fifties and his mother had the radio 
or record player on constantly.  From his toddler-days onward, Kaplan's 
parents indoctrinated him with the great singers of 1950s.  His earliest influences 
were Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Mel Torme, Dean Martin, 
Sarah Vaughn, Sammy Davis Jr., and Louis Armstrong among others.  Ron played 
drums and percussion at school.  In junior and senior high schools he sang in 
musical stage productions, did standup comedy at talent shows and his uncle's 
bar, and competed in speech tournaments ("sometimes it was extemporaneous 
speaking which is sort of like jazz soloing").  Ron studied in an actor's workshop in 
Hollywood, and then went to Los Angeles' Valley College where he got his 
Associate in Arts degree.  He taught himself to play guitar and piano, and started 
writing songs influenced by Bob Dylan, The Beatles and Cat Stevens.  Ron also 
performed original material professionally accompanied by a viola player.  In 
addition, Kaplan learned to play congas at Venice Beach and later played in 
drum circles every Sunday for a number of years in Griffith Park.  Kaplan moved 
north to attend the University of California at Santa Cruz where he majored 
in psychology and received his Bachelor of Arts degree.
 
>From 1985 to 1995, Kaplan decided to immerse himself in instrumental jazz and 
began listening to classic material from 1950 to 1964 – Miles Davis John 
Coltrane, Lee Morgan, Hank Mobley, Wayne Shorter and countless others.  About a 
decade ago Kaplan turned to his first love, those songbook standards, and began 
his recording career with a style reminiscent of those great jazz vocalists he 
first heard as a child.  Kaplan was mentored by pianist Smith Dobson and 
performed every Tuesday night for several years with him.  Kaplan also has 
frequently sung for the past ten years with Don McCaslin, Sr. and his two groups, 
Warmth and The Amazing Jazz Geezers.
 
"When you are working within any musical genre, the most difficult thing is 
to find your own voice," explains Kaplan.  "I have had to purposely avoid 
Sinatra's phrasing, for example, to force myself to develop my own style.  The 
other key is that I choose material that moves me, that means something special to 
me, that I can relate to.  That way I can get to the heart of the song and 
truly inhabit it.  I am deeply committed to performing these great standards and 
doing what I can to keep this music alive and viable for new generations of 
listeners."
 
PUBLICITY AGENCY: THE CREATIVE SERVICE COMPANY (CreatServ9 at aol.com)
4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918 * 719-548-9872 * 
fax 719-599-9607
Kapland Records kaplandisc at aol.com
Pobox 742 Aptos, Ca. 95001*(831) 688-7312*
fax 831-685-2609 www.ronkaplan.com   www.cdbaby.com/cd/kaplan6


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