Bob Mundy’s sophomore album showcases jazz with the heart of Broadway

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Native New Yorker, Bob Mundy, is a self-taught singer who has big ideas about what jazz can do. Those ideas serve as the basis for Mundy’s second album, “Love to Me.” The sound and attitude of the release evoke Broadway and well-turned phrases to express ideas about love.

About Bob Mundy

Bob Mundy began studying piano at age 5. That early start led to him playing piano for a variety show. Once, on the stage of that same show, Mundy was asked to sing. According to Mundy, after that moment, he never looked back. Previously, he’d felt pigeon-holed as a pianist.

Mundy’s post-secondary education led to a Bachelor of Arts in piano performance, and a Master of Arts in music therapy. Both degrees are from the State University of New York at Fredonia.

Despite his formal education in music, Mundy has a history in acting, and has been seen in such shows as “Tony & Tina’s Wedding,” soap operas, primetime dramas, and even an off-off Broadway one-man show.

“Love to Me” is the follow-up to Mundy’s debut album, “Something Beautiful.” His first album earned him a great deal of critical praise, and thus a second release was awaited with much anticipation.

“Love to Me”

From the outset, it is clear that there are bigger ideas guiding the work on “Love to Me.” There is a feeling that there is a performance going on, not just of singing, but of a show. Experiencing that feeling, then finding out about Mundy’s background in theater, it all makes sense.

The sound of Bob Mundy

Mundy sings in what sounds like a mid-range tenor. His voice has an unassuming quality that works well with his songs about love and romance. Unfortunately, Mundy’s polite voice sounds as if it is at-risk of being overshadowed by the music on certain songs.

Mundy’s instrument shines on long phrases, particularly those whose dynamics call for a higher pitch. Vamping sections, even short ones like those heard in “Getting Beyond Goodbye,” are not suited for Mundy’s mid-range voice.

The other problem is that in “Getting Beyond Goodbye,” Mundy sounds as though he is holding back. While the mid-range voice is adequate to admirable, the higher range Mundy uses while pushing the song to its end is one that makes audiences pay attention.

Mundy’s voice has pleasant qualities. His ability to hold notes for long phrases and the use of his higher range are both aspects to laud about Mundy’s singing.

Maybe he needs different material to bring out the full range of his voice. Mundy’s approach to songs requires the use of a persona that can be called “contemporary gentleman.” The personality shows up in jazz, pop jazz and pop music designed to sound like standards. The right music is out there to properly frame Mundy’s voice, and once he finds it, potential fans will appreciate what the singer has to offer even more.

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