Steve Lipman – Hats Off Review
By Griff Stevens
When pursuing most higher learning career, like doctors, dentists, lawyers all college applications ask what you are doing beyond your formal educational pursuits. What value are you bringing to your community and or what creative talents do you possess. So, naturally it doesn’t seem to far-fetched for a dentist to also sing. The creative mind with the analytical mind, isn’t music mathematics in many respects? Steve Lipman calls himself the singing dentist. He sings to his patients to break the ice or lighten the mood in his office, with an affinity to Frank Sinatra. This is Lipman’s third CD, Hats Off. In the past Lipman’s album were more tribute based to his hero. With Hats Off, Lipman takes off the fedora and steps forward as his own man.
A not often covered “The Coffee Song,” put out as a 78rpm single. Sinatra re-recorded the song in 1960 for his inaugural Reprise release, Ring-a-Ding-Ding! The tune is a is a novelty song written by Bob Hilliard and Dick Miles, it has been recorded by such luminary artists as: Louis Prima, The Andrews Sisters, Sam Cooke, Rosemary Clooney, Eydie Gormé, Mike Doughty, Stan Ridgway, Soul Coughing, Osibisa, Hildegard Knef, and the Muppets. Bob Dorough it was first recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1946. Lipman gives the tune a Latin treatment with an easy-going tempo. Pianist John Corda gives an invigorating solo, with saxophonist Steve Yarbro colorizing his solo in a more melodic manner. Beth Harvey does a wonderful job harmonizing with Lipman on this cut. A fun-filled listen, with a nostalgic twist.
Lipman approaches a patriot tribute with a mash up of “The New Colossus/The House I Live In .” The New Colossus, is a sonnet that American poet Emma Lazarus wrote in 1883 to raise money for the construction of a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World). The House I Live In is a ten-minute short film written by Albert Maltz, produced by Frank Ross and Mervyn LeRoy, and starring Frank Sinatra. Made to oppose anti-Semitism at the end of World War II, it received an Honorary Academy Award and a special Golden Globe Award in 1946. This is especially important to Lipman who himself is of Jewish descent. He eloquently tributes and honors his love of America and the beautiful everyday people that comprise its land. Lipman’s voice is very committed and earnest on this tune, you feel each work and each note as he emotes his passionate rendering.
Hats Off is an artist transforming into his own artistic voice. Though not forgetting his roots of deep inspiration from Frank Sinatra, his third album is certainly the signaling of continued growth and transformation as an artist. No artist arrives in one day, most are always inspired by one hero or another in their journey. Lipman does not turn his back on his Sinatra inspired roots, but instead melds it into his fabric of originality.
Release Date: November 17, 2018
Label: Steve Lipman Music