Long Road (Can Do Productions) is an easy listen. Tyrone Mr. SuperFantastic’s vocal approach while mellow and laid back is counterbalanced by subtle emotion and controlled passion. He manages to cover a fair section the great American popular songbook catalog by combining jazz standards with show tunes and pop hits. And he manages to do this with the assistance of a big band ensemble. What serves this artist the most is his precise phrasing and unique style. These tools allow Tyrone Mr. SuperFantastic to make each and every song included on this album his very own. Not an easy feat when you consider the wide range of the musical categories he’s presenting on Long Road.
This musical collection opens with Hey There, the 1954 song sung by John Raitt, father to singer/songwriter Bonnie Raitt, from the hit Broadway play The Pajama Game. The showstopper originally penned by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross has been rerecorded over the decades by entertainment legends like Rosemary Clooney, Sammy Davis Jr., Bing Crosby, Jimmie Rogers, Sam Cooke, Gene Pitney, Sarah Vaughn, Peggy Lee, Nancy Wilson, Johnnie Ray and Bette Midler. That’s quite a legacy to live up to, but Mr. SuperFantastic holds his own against these giants. He then follows it with solid renditions of classics such as The Best Is Yet to Come, The Street Where You Live, Stormy Monday, I’ve Got You Under My Skin and One For The Road.
Another selection from the stage on Long Road is the 1965 Alan Jay Lerner and Burton Lane On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, again is truncated here as On a Clear Day, and then immortalized by Barbra Streisand in the 1970 film adaptation. Reaching deep down inside of the Long Road mixed bag Tyrone Mr. SuperFantastic dabbles with several pop chart toppers of the 60s and 70s. Included is the reworking of the 1968 Jerry Jeff Walker hit Mr. Bojangles, which is simply titled as Bojangles on this compilation, Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s This Guy’s in Love with You (also from 1968) and Billy Preston’s 1972 anthem Will It Go Round in Circles.
I must say I really enjoyed reading the press release that accompanied the EPK for this release. It states, “Tyrone Mr. SuperFantastic (https://tyronemrsuperfantastic.com/) has always reached for the stars. At 10 years old as the Howard University marching band would pass his home en route to the local football stadium he’d run in front of the drum major to march ahead of the band all the way to the field. In the 1960s, when he was 12 he and his friends would attend Washington, DC’s Howard Theater on the weekends to see Motown performers such as Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Diana Ross and The Supremes, and Otis Redding. Late evenings Tyrone would also watch Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby on the TV show Hollywood’s Finest. This is why this album titled Long Road is so important to him. It’s not only a tribute to these stars – it’s a revisiting of memories from long ago.” And the beat goes on…