Hughie Mac – Sings Some Great Songs, Pt. 4
Hughie Mac – Sings Some Great Songs, Pt. 4, is another chapter in his series which features him singing the classics, most of which are of the higher echelon of easy listening and jazz standards. This release features 23 songs with Mac doing what he does best, entertaining at a respectable standard to the original artist of each song. I couldn’t help but notice how well he covers the original artist by staying close to their versions without impersonating them. This is a tribute to both the songs and the artists that way, and it brings out the best in Mac himself.
With so many songs to go over, it is not an easy feat, but with the highlights of this album being plentiful, the songs that stand out the most to me start with the opening track. “Almost Like Being In Love” is a great start if you’re familiar with the popular version by Nat King Cole, as Mac appears to be with his own version of this wonderful song. And it goes back to back for me with the next track being an excellent version of “The Twelfth Of Never,” written by Jerry Livingston, Paul Francis Webster, and first recorded by Johnny Mathis.
After a smoking rendition of “All Of Me” bubbles by the ears, it’s all systems go in this great collection. “Changes In Latitudes” brings exactly what it suggests, a change in the mood with some humor that’s always nice, as homage is paid to Jimmy Buffet. And you even get “My Way,” “Come Fly With Me” and “Fly Me To The Moon,” all in succession around the 1/3 mark before it is even half way over. All-of which Mac turns out brilliant versions and pays utmost respect to everything about them and their original creators.
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“Let Me Be There” and “I Gotta Be Me” are another two that play well together as the track list wares on with many more to go. And by now if you haven’t heard Hughie Mac before, you’ll easily get used to him and be able to find the first three releases in the four-part series. “Gentle On My Mind” gets a good workout and so does “New York New York” and “Nothing But The Best,” with Mac shining brightly on all these highlights and more, including a great version of “Orange Colored Sky.” These covers are all not to be missed, along with all the rest.
Other fine moments include “All The Way,” with Mac giving it just the right stamp of his own, with one of the most enjoyable versions I’ve ever heard. Not one track on this release can be flawed, especially if you are a jazz and easy listening lover, it goes the distance, as do parts one, two and three. But – Sings Great Songs Pt.4 is the best in the series so far. “Try A Little Kindness” followed by “Cheeseburger In Paradise” is also enough to describe the sheer variety to be found in Hughie Mac’s musical taste.