Personnel: Ronnie Milsap (piano, electric piano); Ronnie Milsap (vocals, Fender Rhodes piano); Weldon Dean Parks (guitar); Gayle Levant (harp); Assa Drori, Jennifer Munday, Mari Tsumura, Becky Bunnell, Charles Everett, Joel Derouin, Patricia Johnson , Clayton Haslop, Armen Garabedian, Berj Garabedian, Miwako Watanabe, Charlie Bisharat (violin); James Ross , Pamela Goldsmith, Marilyn Baker, Harry Shirinian (viola); Daniel Smith, Anne Karam, Ernest Ehrhardt, Larry Corbett (cello); Tom Boyd (oboe); Pete Christlieb (reeds, tenor saxophone); Dan Higgins, Don Shelton , Gene Cipriano, George Young (reeds); Warren Luening (trumpet, flugelhorn); Gary Grant, Rick Baptist, Wayne Bergeron, Dominick Farinacci (trumpet); Marilyn L. Johnson , James Atkinson , Richard Todd , Daniel Kelly (French horn); Phillip Teele, Richard Taylor "Dick" Nash , George Bohanon, Charles Loper (trombone); Catherine S. Marx, Catherine Styron Marx (piano); David Hungate (bass guitar); Vanessa Brown (percussion); Dennis Budimir, James L. Brantley (guitar, acoustic guitar); Bob Mann (guitar, electric guitar); Dean Parks (electric guitar); Paul Leim (drums).
Liner Note Authors: Jerry Sharell; Ronnie Milsap.
Recording information: Capitol studios, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographer: Allyson Reeves.
Arrangers: Jimmie Haskell; Sammy Nestico; Charles Calello.
It is no surprise to learn that a seasoned performer like Ronnie Milsap has--in the brightly colored autumn of his career--released an album of standards. It is a pleasant surprise, however, to learn that the record, entitled JUST FOR A THRILL, is full of lively, big-band-driven arrangements, a sense of lightness and fun, and Milsap's always-appealing croon, which sounds better than ever. Aficionados of the American Songbook and Milsap fans alike will appreciate his fresh take on tunes like "Bewitched," "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye," and "My Funny Valentine."
The disc's version of "But Not for Me," for example, is busy and swinging, injecting a healthy shot of jazz into the country-pop style Milsap is known for. The emotionally stirring "Cry," complete with swelling strings, succeeds thanks to Milsap's straightforward, yet carefully considered, vocal performance. The snappy punch of brass throughout keeps the tunes energetic and smart, as do the fine arrangements by Jimmie Haskell, Doc Mulligan, and others. Such elements provide the perfect backdrop for Milsap's warm, easy-going voice in a way that makes these dusty gems sparkle anew.