Norm Drubner: It’s a Blue World —Songs of Lost Love

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Norm Drubner

It’s a Blue World —Songs of Lost Love

April 28, 2024

Review by Betsyann Faiella

While listening to Norm Drubner’s new recording It’s a Blue World— Songs of Lost

Love, I was occasionally reminded of Bob Dorough and Dave Frishberg. Drubner’s clipped phrasing delivers matter-of-fact messages, which, despite their economy, are not lacking in feeling. He also sounds a lot like the trumpeter/singer Chet Baker. I found this recording completely charming.

Norm has great taste, and he has chosen a dozen songs about lost love from the Great American Songbook that he delivers pretty much on the beat. But he occasionally plays with the rhythm and the melody, testing the jazz waters while he is being beautifully accompanied by a stellar band playing arrangements by pianist Nick Bariluk. The band is featured prominently throughout the recording and is given breaks in every song. The fine work of Tony Kadleck and Chris Morrison on guitar are some of my favorite sounds. Both are featured on “I’m a Fool to You Want You” (Jack Wolf/Joel Herron/Frank Sinatra), on which Drubner sings most of the song freely, backed by guitar, and the instrumental break features the trumpet to give an atmospheric feel.

After having heard dramatic readings by other artists of some of these songs through the years, it was fun for me to hear a straight-ahead delivery of the lyrics. Among the other tracks are “This Love of Mine” (Sol Parker/Hank Sanicola/Frank Sinatra), “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me” (Rube Bloom/Ted Koehler), and “You’ve Changed” (Bill Carey/Carl Fischer).

Drubner’s understated quality is enhanced by the bright and simple and very satisfying arrangements. It’s a Blue World—Songs of Lost Love is a winner!

Betsyann Faiella

Betsyann Faiella is a creative spirit with right and left brain functionality. She is a writer and publicist, and founded SavoyPR in 2008. Her clients have been featured in major news outlets including NPR, The Today Show, Page Six, Architectural Digest, and many other major news and entertainment platforms. Her own writing has been featured in the New York Times Diner’s Journal, and her bios for creative people are all over the web. Before founding SavoyPR, she was a busy media producer working with commercial directors, leading international teams, and excelled in both the New York and Los Angeles markets with major brands including Mercedes, Exxon, Bayer, Johnson and Johnson, Old Navy. Betsyann was previously a professional singer, and made her public singing debut at famed NYC cabaret, Reno Sweeney. After touring in shows from Canada to Las Vegas and beyond, she released an album in 2001 titled Can I Be Frank?, a dedication to the artistry of Frank Sinatra. She has performed at the Blue Note, Birdland, Ronnie Scott’s, and more, and Performing Arts Centers all over the U.S. with jazz greats including the late Hank Jones, Paul Smith, and Tedd Firth.