This Is Living is Cormac Kenevey's debut CD. This vocalist out of Ireland has put together a collection of songs designed to display the quality of his voice and his interpretative skills. There are some familiar standards, some songs that have not been overexposed and three original pieces by Cormac Kenevey -- making for an interesting mix. The Phil Ware Trio backs him up, along with the addition of horns on some of the tracks.
On "We've Got A World That Swings," Kenevey sings the first chorus and then scats a second one. This is followed by Karl Ronan's trombone work with solos by Danny Healy on trumpet and Robert Geraghty on tenor sax. Alternating solos by bassist Dave Redmond and drummer Kevin Brady lead back into a final vocal chorus by Kenevey in a traditional format. Kenevey's sensitive vocal on "I Was Telling Her About You" is embellished with a conversational trombone solo by Karl Ronan and some perfectly placed piano fills by Phil Ware.
Kenevey's interesting and swinging rendition of "No Moon At All" begins with his vocal accompanied by a counterpoint melody played by Robert Geraghty on bass clarinet. Kenevey continues with a scat chorus and then comes Geraghty's bass clarinet solo. The track ends as it begins with Kenevey's vocal and Geraghty's bass clarinet. "You Call It Jogging" is a fun tune, done uptempo with a rhythm and blues feel. The next three songs are all originals; each one very different. "Movies" is a traditional, pretty ballad with a straightforward vocal and a lovely piano solo by Phil Ware. "Just A Day" features narration over vocal layering. "Domestic Bliss" is a blues without lyrics, on which Kenevey scats the melody. Drummer Kevin Brady does a tasty solo with brushes on this one.
"It Could Happen To You" and "I'm Through With Love" both receive a fine reading from Kenevey. The former contains a sax solo by Robert Geraghty and the latter is done with just the trio and has a winning piano solo by Phil Ware. "There'll Be Some Changes Made" is an uptempo number with the rhythm section and horns accompanying Kenevey's vocal and scat chorus. Everybody swings on this one. "Tell Me The Truth" is a protest song written by Jon Hendricks with additional lyrics by Kenevey. This is a mover which builds in intensity and is fueled by Healy's trumpet solo, Ware's piano solo and Kenevey's vocal. The final track is Carolyn Leigh and Cy Coleman's "I Walk A Little Faster," which Kenevey does with sensitivity and also features some more of Ware's fine piano work.
Cormac Kenevey's voice is a young voice with a fresh, pure quality. He knows how to use his voice as an instrument on his scat choruses. Although he is still in his twenties, he exhibits the ability to handle a mature reading of lyrics. There is sincerity and imagination in his delivery. This is CD that can be played and enjoyed more than once.