With his sharply tailored suit and easy charm, singer-pianist Anthony Strong seems to happily fill the role of ‘The English Gentleman’ often thrust upon him. His swaggering vocals and swinging piano style are matched by an energy that have entertained audiences at his live shows around the world.
One thing is sure: underneath the crowd-winning stage show, there is a seriously talented musician. The arrangements and orchestrations, up to full big band, were written by Strong himself. There are original compositions showing an appreciation of the jazz classics. His piano playing belies a deep knowledge of the swinging greats – Wynton Kelly, Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans – and his vocals have further matured during the course of more than 150 international performances.
Strong’s new album, On A Clear Day, is a statement of intent to continue doing what he does best. The repertoire is unashamedly ‘old school’ – from jazz standards and classics, through to early Stevie Wonder and Motown – a cross section of his personal record collection. There is nothing ‘old’ about the treatment of them though. The songs capture the fresh, positive and feel-good energy of his audience-winning tours. More than 20 musicians were involved in the making of this album with aim – in the words of Anthony himself – of giving the listener the “POW” they get when they see him perform live.