Singing the Great American Songbook

Ron KaplanVocals
Marshall OtwellPiano
Stan PoplinBass

Excellent jazz album with swinging solos and rhythmic piano by Rodney and the Reviewer Team

“Singing the Great American Songbook” by jazz vocalist Ron Kaplan (for the American Songbook Preservation Society) is a live CD capturing the performance of a benefit concert given by Mr. Kaplan at The Kuumbwa Jazz Center on January 25, 2007. Kaplan is joined by the stellar musicians Marshall Otwell on the piano and Stan Poplin on bass. This release captures the sound and spirit of this live show beautifully, with each musician shining both individually and collectively. Kaplan has a gentle, swinging style of phrasing and his sidemen provide wonderful support and solos throughout. They begin the set with spirited interpretations of Duke Ellington’s “Drop Me Off in Harlem” and “Solitude,” with Kaplan in fine form. Otwell provides intelligent figures and swinging solos over Poplin’s steady bass. Also included is a great rendition of Cole Porter’s “I Get a Kick Out of You,” with Kaplan’s vocals dancing on top of the rhythmic piano of Otwell, anchored by the solid bass lines of Poplin. Another highlight is an enchanting version of Harold Arlen & Johnny Mercer’s “Out of This World,” with soaring vocals from Kaplan and fiery solos by both Otwell & Poplin. A touching interpretation of the jazz ballad “Willow Weep for Me” showcases the trio’s sensitivity. The trio closes the night with a playful performance of George & Ira Gershwin’s “Love Is Here to Stay,” with lively vocals from Kaplan and splashy solos contributed from both Otwell and Poplin. This concert and album is a great example of timeless material performed by three extremely talented musicians; a wonderful contribution to the Great American Songbook. Fans of male jazz vocals in the style of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett will want to check “Singing the Great American Songbook” out.

American Songbook Preservation Society...Singing the Great American Songbook By A. J. Julian Improvisational Promotions

Ronald S. Kaplan has spent most of his time as a singer pursuing his musical talent in the San Francisco area. It has never been easy for an independent performer to get the World to take notice of their creative work and keep them motivated in this situation. Mr. Kaplan has had to assume the difficulty of creating his own independent record company to document his work. Along with this, he has taken on many roles; as the performing artist, producer, marketing and promotion, and the booking agent. In addition to this, he has created another undertaking for his engaging life and love for the Composers and Music of what has become known as "The Great American Songbook". This has led to his creation of "American Songbook Preservation Society". The Mission is to Preserve our musical cultural treasure known as the Great American Songbook, by presenting this music to the public at home and abroad as Ambassadors of Song. This recording, "Singing the Great American Songbook" is the production from a benefit concert given by Ron Kaplan at Kuumbwa jazz Center on January 25, 2007. Assisting him in this concert were stellar players Marshall Otwell-piano and Stan Poplin-bass. The recording consists of a 14 track program selecting interesting choices of tunes for the album. The program of tunes consists of familiar but not overdone standards such as: two tunes from the Duke Ellington book, "Drop Me Off In Harlem" and "Solitude", Harold Arlen & Johnny Mercer's "Out Of This World", Cole Porter's "I get A Kick Out Of You", and George & Ira Gershwin's "Love Is Here To Stay". Ron Kaplan has a gentle, swinging, sense of phrasing and reads the lyrics like they were written. This concert and album renews your faith in the strength of the great material performed by three Superlative Musicians. It is an outstanding contribution to the wonderful Great American Songbook, that over the years has become a mostly unprolific musical landscape.

Album Notes

Dear Friends and Music Lovers! As some of you may know, I am a singer and a great fan of America’s Classical music...Jazz and the Great American Songbook, known and loved around the world. Will you help me to endow a Foundation dedicated to continuing this legacy for future generations?

Our Mission: To preserve our cultural treasure known as the Great American Songbook by presenting this music to the public at home and abroad as Ambassadors of Song.

Our purpose is to build an Organization to stand the test of time and continue this body of work for the next 100 years and beyond for public benefit. “In a hundred to a hundred and fifty years from now, I believe that people will recognize the music of Gershwin and Ellington as the classical music of our time.” Tony Bennett

You can help me achieve this mission with your generous donation! We are looking for Donors who believe in this American Cultural Legacy and want their name or business associated with the American Songbook Preservation Society Foundation as we fulfill our mission. Our Goal is $25 million, which will underwrite our Foundation in perpetuity. We are asking that concerned individuals help us make this happen with their support. The American Songbook Preservation Society is a California Charitable Corporation, exempt from taxation under section 501 (C) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code. As such, your donations are fully tax-deductible as allowed by law Tax ID #56-241033. Please mail your donation to American Songbook Preservation Society, 9051-A Soquel Drive, Aptos, California, 95003. Email us at: or call us at (831) 687-0278. Thank you for your support! Ronald Kaplan, Executive Director Singing the Great American Songbook

What is the Great American Songbook, also known as the “Popular Standards”? It is largely composed of songs written between 1920 and 1960 from the Tin Pan Alley era through the Broadway stages and sets of Hollywood musicals. This era represented a unique period in the history of American popular music. It was a period that saw the advent of a new type of songwriting, utterly original in some respects, but grounded in the simple structure of the Tin Pan Alley era that preceded it, and strongly influenced by the musical form known as Jazz (and by the precursors of Jazz: Ragtime and Blues). The Great American Songbook is a distinct body of works, which collectively represent one of America’s true cultural treasures, and exemplify popular songwriting at its best, with vivid, literate lyrics set to haunting elusive harmonies and gorgeous melodies that have come to hold an exalted place in American culture and around the world. Of the American Songbook Popular Standards, most were written for specific spots in shows, films, specialty acts, or revues. They were the product of professional songwriters and lyricists working at their craft. In the hands of a capable singer like Ella Fitzgerald or Frank Sinatra, the standards serve as a sort of musical thesaurus of the spectrum of human emotions. Maybe that’s the reason these songs and this body of work continue to engender such a deep response to this day.

The purpose of the American Songbook Preservation Society is to keep these songs in the public consciousness, by performing them in venues around the country and around the world with the highest musical integrity and interpretation from a cast of highly capable Singers and Musicians as Ambassadors of American Song. Future Projects: include archiving and organizing historical documentation about the composers and lyricists, the personalities, and their works, as an educational resource for future generations for use in the classroom and the university. In addition, we will record and develop new material for presentation to the public as representative of this body of work. Finally, we will work on a permanent display using modern technology to bring the Great American Songbook and it’s inhabitants to life.

Some of the Great American Songbook Composers and Lyricists Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington • Billy Strayhorn • Ted Koehler • James Van Huesen • Jules Styne • Rodgers and Hammerstein • Lerner and Loewe • Meredith Wilson and Frank Loesser • Harold Arlen • Irving Berlin • Lew Brown • Johnny Burke •Irving Caeser • Sammy Cahn • Hoagy Carmichael • B.G. DeSylva • Howard Dietz • Walter Donaldson • Al Dubin •Vernon Duke • Dorothy Fields • George Gershwin • Ira Gershwin • Mack Gordon • Johnny Green •Oscar Hammerstein II• Otto Harbach • E.Y. Harburg • Johnny Mercer • Ray Noble • Mitchell Parish • Cole Porter •Ralph Rainger • Andy Razaf • Leo Robin • Richard Rodgers • Harry Ruby • Arthur Schwartz • Mac Gordon • Lorenz Hart • Ray Henderson • Jerornre Kern • Burton Lane • Frank Loesser • Jimmy McHugh • Gus Kahn • Bert Kalmar • Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller • Harry Warren • Richard Whiting • Spenser Williams • Victor Young • Vincent Youmans • Irving Mills, and many others.