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  • Mark Winkler (2010)

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    It may have been inevitable that Los Angeles-born and -raised Mark Winkler would become a singer-songwriter. Like one of his aunts, his mother had been a big-band singer (she'd been known as "The Star Dust Lady", and had been an entertainer on cruises to Panama). He says "We were singing standards from the Great American Songbook", and recalls her giving him singing lessons while cooking meals later at night (it was late because she'd been out working). His two brothers didn't catch the bug, but Mark was writing stories at age seven, and wanted to be a singer from age nine.

    Mark's songs have been recorded by Randy Crawford, Dianne Reeves and Liza Minelli, among others. He also co-wrote the hit "Naked Boys Singings", still running Off-Broadway after a decade. (He says "People went for the gratuitous nudity and they left humming the songs." One of one of his own musicals, "Bark" is all about dogs: he adds "They're naked, too!")

    The good reception of his 2003 recording of songs all written by one of his idols, Bobby Troup, was trumped by that for 2009's "Till I Get It Right", which appeared on not a few "best-of" lists, including those of Don Albert at "Down Beat" and Christopher Loudon at "Jazz Times". Perhaps the best review is that by Jonathan Widran at "All Music Guide", which begins "Get it right? How about darn near as perfect as a spirited set of (mostly) original contemporary jazz vocals can be?"

    Let's leave the last word to Mark himself. "Basically, I'm a simple guy: I like dogs, film noir, and writing songs."
    Pick Artist Album Song Label
    # 1 Mark Murphy Stolen Moments Stolen Moments Muse
    # 2 Lorraine Feather New York City Drag You're Outa Here Rhombus
    # 3 Bobby Troup Bobby Troup Lemon Twist Capitol
    # 4 Shirley Horn Here's to Life Here's to Life Telarc
    # 5 Julie London Julie Is My Name Cry Me a River MFP
    # 6 The Manhattan Transfer Bop Doo-Wopp Route 66 Atlantic
    # 7 Al Jarreau Look to the Rainbow Take Five Warner Bros
    # 8 Claire Martin Make This City Ours Bye Bye, Country Boy Honest
    # 9 Chet Baker My Funny Valentine Let's Get Lost Pacific Jazz
    Book F. Scott Fitzgerald, "Tender Is the Night", or Robert Goolrick, "A Reliable Wife"
    Luxury Item 1962 Studebaker Avanti, designed by Raymond Loewy
    Castaways by date
    Chris Amberger
    23 Jun
    Gerald Beckett
    01 Sep
    Buzz Brooks
    28 Apr
    Jarrett Cherner
    16 Jun
    Kev Choice
    30 Jun
    Anat Cohen
    28 Jul
    Natalie Cressman
    10 Feb
    Matt Eakle
    15 Dec
    Hershey Felder
    07 Apr
    Mitchell Feldman
    18 Aug
    Mike Galisatus
    03 Nov
    Aaron Germain
    06 Jan
    Robin Gregory
    17 Feb
    Tamir Hendelman
    13 Oct
    Kasey Knudsen
    17 Mar
    Matthew Montfort
    26 May
    Dan Montgomery
    06 Oct
    Andrea Motis
    21 Jul
    Ray Obiedo
    10 Mar
    Jayn Pettingill
    17 Nov
    John Pizzarelli
    25 Aug
    Sandi Poindexter
    24 Mar
    Don Randi
    20 Oct
    David Rogers
    24 Feb
    Eric Whittington
    29 Sep
    George Winston
    04 Aug
    Lizz Wright
    09 Jun
    Jason Yeager
    02 Jun