John Proulx
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John Proulx


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The best kept secret in music


"Moon And Sand"

Los Angeles-native pianist/singer/composer John Proulx possesses the most thrillingly androgynous voice since Chet Baker whispered “My Funny Valentine.” The comparison cannot stop there. Both Baker and Proulx nominally hail from the Midwest (Baker from Oklahoma, Proulx from Michigan). Both men sing with a vibrato-less high tenor; and both men gravitated to the same corner of the American musical canon.
But there is where the similarities end. To dispense with the necessary Chet Baker comparisons from the get go, John Proulx is light years ahead of Baker as an expressive singer, and his classically trained pianism permits him to be a superior musician and composer.
Proulx’s debut recording, Moon and Sand, is part of MaxJazz’s vocal piano series, whose previous releases have included Dena DeRose’s A Walk in the Park (2005) and Patti Wicks' Love Locked Out (2003). Veteran bassist Chuck Berghofer and drummer Joe LaBarbera join Proulx for this recital.
What's most striking up front is the overt expressiveness of Proulx’s voice. It is a pretty instrument, in the same way as the late Bobby Short’s and Jimmy Scott’s voices. It is a purely distilled spirit able to convey all emotions in the same way that stem cells convey all subsequent cell types, fundamental and basic. This element is best expressed on the disc’s slower ballads, such as “Moon and Sand,” “Alice in Wonderland,” and the Proulx compositions “My Love for You” and “Stuck in a Dream with Me” (the ostensible redux for Baker’s “Deep in a Dream”).
Proulx’s pianism is best heard on uptempo pieces like “I’ve Never Been In Love Before” and “You’d be so Nice To come Home to.” His playing shines on these faster pieces, particularly during the bright solo sections. A superb recital by any name. - All About Jazz

"Moon And Sand"

About This Album Pianist and singer John Proulx makes his recording debut as a leader with Moon and Sand, a trio date with veterans Chuck Berghofer (bass) and Joe La Barbera (drums), that focuses primarily on favorite standards. Proulx has a light but swinging vocal style, never overdoing it, while his piano playing is equally effective. He adds a bossa nova undercurrent in the enticing "Moon and Sand," shows a playful touch in "Alice in Wonderland," and showcases Berghofer prominently in the delicious duet of Duke Ellington's "Do Nothin' Til You Hear from Me," in which the piano is omitted entirely. "I Can't Make You Love Me" is a country-like piece best known by Bonnie Raitt's landmark recording of it, but Proulx turns this bittersweet ballad into a loping, touching jazz vehicle for solo piano and voice. Proulx's two originals are collaborations with

lyricist K. Lawrence Dunham, with producer Tamir Hendelman taking over the piano for the touching ballad "My Love for You" and the leader back on hand for the lush, sentimental "Stuck in a Dream with Me."John Proulx demonstrates a lot of potential on this initial release, so he will be one to watch. ~ Ken Dryden, All Music Guide - All Music Guide; Ken Dryden

"MAXJAZZ: John Proulx, "Moon And Sand""

JOHN PROULX/Moon and Sand: If a piano man is going to take my advice (even
if he never heard it) and return "What a Diff'rence A Day makes" and return
it to it's Latin roots, I'm going to pay attention to him as well. A
largely retro set card that doesn't hit all the usual, Proulx is currently
making a name for himself on the jazz circuit working with some top shelf
veteran talent and in his spare time, he's doing right by himself as well.
A snappy, straight ahead trio date that's right in the pocket for kids that
like to feel like daddios (think 20 year old Chet Baker fans). Well done
throughout with a lot of spirit and style that really takes hold.
- Midwest Record Recap

"Moon and Sand, John Proulx, piano/vocals"

Proulx makes his debut on the
MaxJazz label with a voice that updates a young Chet Baker in a modern
setting. His voice is high, pure and warm, and his crooning style is a
refreshing change of pace from the usual baritones and low tenors. His piano
talents heighten his overall musicianship, and he accompanies himself
nicely, even trading fours between piano and scatting on Frank Loesser's
swinging "I've Never Been in Love Before." Backed by veteran drummer Joe
LaBarbera and bassist Chuck Berghofer, Proulx is in good company, giving him
a solid and steadfast base to build his arrangements. Proulx plays it fairly
close to the norm, choosing songs that will establish him as a fine
interpreter of American standards, like "I Should Care," "There is No
Greater Love," and "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To." But rather than
compete with the Michael Bubles of the world, Proulx has the talent to take
it to the next level, not just as an interpreter of song, but as a composer
and arranger as well. MaxJazz, 2006, PT: 54:59, ****

Moon And Sand, John Proulx, vocals, piano. Now and then, a new jazz voice
comes along and really impresses from several standpoints. John Proulx is
such an artist, and I'll tell you why. First of all, he's a skilled jazz
pianist, and his musicianship, as is often the case, comes through clearly
in his singing. Think of Chet Baker (trumpet), Jim Ferguson (bass) and
Jimmy Rowles (piano); all of whom are singers who could put over the meaning
of a lyric. Then consider that this newcomer sings smack on key and knows
not to overindulge the time honored lyrics he chooses to interpret.
Finally, Proulx (probably pronounced as though it rhymes with "pool"; the x
being silent) scats with ease through I've Never Been In Love Before and
You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To. To all this, add the veteran skills of
bassist Chuck Berghofer and drummer Joe LaBarbera and you wind up with a
totally honest, very musical and hip-as-can-be debut CD. Oh, let's not
forget that Proulx sings great tunes like Alice In Wonderland, Do Nothin'
Til You Hear From Me, I Should Care, So In Love and East Of The Sun. He
also includes two original ballads, My Love For You and Stuck In A Dream
With Me. Both are rare beauties, but My Love For You may rank with the more
romantic songs I've ever heard. John Proulx, singer, pianist, composer and
a welcome new talent. In the jazz world, John Proulx is the complete
package. - JazzScene (Portland, OR):


"Moon And Sand" (Maxjazz label)


Feeling a bit camera shy


It is rare enough to find a young jazz pianist who also sings, but it is even more rare to find one that composes too! In addition to performing songs from the great American songbook, John is also a prolific writer. Legendary jazz vocalist, Nancy Wilson recorded one of his tunes on her recent Grammy-winning album "Turned to Blue".

John also just released his own debut CD on the Maxjazz label called "Moon And Sand". It is getting great acclaim, and even earned him the opportunity to be a guest on the Marian McPartland Piano Jazz Show on NPR. The musicians on the album are world class: Chuck Berghofer on bass, and Joe LaBarbera on drums.

John's future goals include increasing exposure through touring, radio appreances, and writing projects. A few major upcoming venues include performances at the "The Virginia Gold Cup" in May, "Jazz on the Plazz" in Sacramento in July, and the "Topeka Jazz Workshop" in February, 2008.