Born: September 20, 1950
E. J. Decker grew up the youngest in a musical household: his mother played piano; his father was a big band singer who sang briefly with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. His dad often played Big Band records at home, teaching E. J. the unique qualities of the various bands, and how they swung.
He also taught his number-three son how to sing at an early age. At the same time, E. J.'s older brothers were playing '50s and '60s rock, R&B and jazz without stop. In his teens, E. J. caught many of the great artists playing live in New York area clubs and concerts: Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Leonard Cohen, Oscar Brown, Jr., Jimmy Smith, Alberta Hunter, Leon Russell, Richie Havens, Tom Rush, the original Dave Brubeck Qrt., Genya Ravan, Tom Paxton, the Jefferson Airplane and Sammy Davis, Jr. He learned much from all of them, stole much from most of them--and began finding his own voice....
**** 4 stars / ... a strong voice touched by that of Billy Eckstine
His presentation is lush, and his songs have a tinge of brash elegance. Decker has a way of presenting his tunes using dynamic flair, and he commands attention through his direct and forceful delivery. He seems to prefer singing lesser-exposed standards, and he displays a bold stroke of authority on each of them ... a solid entertainer.
Craig Turner, WPNE 89.3 FM:
... right from the first song, title cut, I knew I had a winner in my hands ... After repeated listens, I put this CD in the 'must have' category. It is one of those CDs that always puts you in a good mood.
Jazz Improv Magazine:
One is first struck by Mr. Decker's rich baritone voice ... His tone is resonant, his articulation immaculate. Mr. Decker's vocal inflection shows a clear understanding of the lyrics for each of his selections ... Similarly, he evidences a rich and far-reaching vocabulary of jazz and jazz influences. It is obvious, from the tune selection upward, that Mr. Decker is aware of the roots of this idiom.
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