After headlining New York's hottest nightspots like Birdland, the famed jazz club, and the Café Carlyle, the elegant supper club, singer, pianist and songwriter Tony DeSare makes his first big international splash with Want You, his debut release on Telarc International.
Tony DeSare is a performer whose infectious joy, wry playfulness, and robust musicality have earned him a reputation as one of the city's most thrilling young talents. Want You is a savvy combination of original compositions by Tony and timeless standards, featuring some of the finest session musicians in New York, including the legendary guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, pianist Tedd Firth, guitarist Joe Palermo and Tony's longtime sidemen Mike Lee on bass and Brian Czach on drums.
Tony's original songs are created in the traditional mold, yet are refreshingly sophisticated and contemporary. The title song is a haunting, noir-inspired dissertation on the mysteries of love, while "Movin' On" is a cool, breezy take on the universal theme of dealing with life's big changes. "What I want to accomplish as a songwriter, basically, is to move someone or somehow change their life," Tony says. "A song doesn't need to shake you to the core to make a difference. If it makes you laugh out loud, or brightens your day, or even feel sorrow, I know I've done what I set out to do."
A significant highlight of the CD is "(I'd Have It All) If I Had Drew," the main title theme to My Date With Drew, an independent documentary feature film about a guy who has 30 days and $1100 to get a date with Drew Barrymore. It has been featured on "The Tonight Show" and in Playboy, Entertainment Weekly and Premiere. The film—awarded top honors at the New York Gen Arts Festival, the HBO Comedy Arts Festival and the Vail Film Festival—will be released in theatres nationwide in 2005.
"We've Got A World That Swings," a fresh, finger-snapping rhythm number which has become a signature showpiece for Tony, has as its unlikely birthplace the musical film The Nutty Professor, auspiciously introduced by Jerry Lewis. Want You's opener, "Baby Dream Your Dream," is a Cy Coleman / Dorothy Fields gem from the musical Sweet Charity, which is returning to Broadway this spring in a lavish revival starring TV and film star Christina Applegate. "This song isn't one of Cy's best known, but one that's remained relatively untouched," comments Tony, "I got to play this song at an event for Cy right before he passed away. I caught sight of him while I was performing and he was just beaming. It was truly a thrill."
Of course, there are familiar standards included as well, classics like "Just In Time," a song which really showcases the band including a brilliant guitar solo by Bucky Pizzarelli, and "I Wish You Love." "That song is the most positive breakup song I've heard," Tony laughs, "there are so many versions... ballads, bossa novas. We took it mid-tempo. If it's too slow it gets heavy, but it loses all meaning if it's done too fast." He continues, "'Something's Gotta Give' is a blast to play. It's great to push the limits and see how fast I can get it out." The eternal "Two For the Road," by Henry Mancini and Leslie Bricusse, showcases another element of Tony's voice, his rich and romantic ballad style.
The recording ends on a high note, with Tony taking a jubilant vaudevillian romp through the stride piano classic "Five Foot Two." "I've been playing this song since I was about 13 years old," Tony remembers. "It's so much fun that I never get tired of it… even after all these years."
Audiences won't tire of Tony either, who is eagerly preparing for his first coast-to-coast tour to help launch the recording. With word of mouth already spreading rapidly, Want You is poised to be one of the most distinguished pop/jazz vocal recordings of the year.