Ok, before you start reading this review, I need you to get your diary out and turn to Sunday 29th November, 2015. Then make a note to go onto your favourite purchasing web site and get a copy of Jonathan Reid Gealt’s third album, Whatever I Want It To Be.
I was lucky enough to attend a launch of the album at the St James Theatre recently and have to say it was an amazing evening. For those that may not have heard of Jonathan, he is a very talented American composer/performer with two very well received albums – Here for You and Thirteen Stories Down – under his belt already. His musical style is pretty eclectic and, for this third album there is a wonderful mixture on show. Everything from jazz through rock and roll to songs that would sound amazing as part of a West End musical. This really is an album where every member of the family will find something to enjoy.
At the event I attended, Jonathan and his team, under Musical Director Bob Broad, along with some pretty awesome guest performers from the West End, presented songs from all three of Jonathan’s albums starting with the title track Whatever I Want it to be. Over the course of the performance, I was really impressed with the range of songs which really did cover every musical genre. I can honestly say that there was not a bad song in the whole show and I instantly became a convert to Jonathan’s eclectic highly enjoyable musical style. Jonathan himself is a very personable young man and did the introductions to each song himself, coming across as a really lovely guy with a wonderfully quirky sense of humour and a great ability to really connect with his audience.
I have a couple of favourites from the night, including ‘I Won’t Have To Anymore’ performed brilliantly by Danny Colligan – who also did a really amusing and sweet duo with Jonathan about two guys at a cinema – and the wonderful five part acapella number ‘I’d Give it all Up’. Although we only heard excerpts from the albums, what we heard was enough to get me really interested.
In fact, I have to be honest, I have now bought both of Jonathan’s first two albums, pre-ordered Whatever I Want it to Be and am really looking forward to going to Jonathan’s next album launch.
By Terry Eastham
American composer Jonathan Reid Gealt – back in London to launch his third studio album ‘Whatever I Want It To Be’ at St James Studio before its official worldwide release on 29th November, 2015. Following two sell out concerts for his previous two albums, “Thirteen Stories Down” and “Here For You”, he is delighted to be returning to share exclusives from the new album alongside his other signature songs. The West End line-up includes Andy Coxon, Danny Colligan, Scott Garnham, Katie Hall, Melissa James, Ceili O’Connor, Jodie Steele, Rebecca Trehearn and Lee van Geleen plus Season 8 finalist from X-Factor Craig Colton. The concert was accompanied by a top West End band led by musical director Bob Broad.
“Whatever I Want It To Be” is a fun and eclectic album of songs with influences ranging from jazz to big band, soul to pop, rock and roll to singer/songwriter, Motown and beyond. Produced by James Bilodeau, Matt Hinkley and Jonathan Reid Gealt, the album features Laura Osnes, Jane Monheit, Joshua Henry, Luke Edgemon, Loren Allred, Craig Colton, Caissie Levy, Natalie Weiss , Whitney Bashor, Alysha Umphress, Alex Brightman, Lindsay Mendez, Celisse Henderson, Lilli Cooper, Eric Michael Krop, Addi McDaniel, Michael Deleget, Jonathan Reid Gealt and James Bilodeau. Matt Hinkley also serves as musical supervisor and helped arrange the album with Gealt.
Produced by ILIADebuts.
Photograph: Kat Hennessey
Cover Design: Robbie Rozelle, Ghostlight Design