Mark's debut recording takes a fresh look at classics of the great American songbook.

The Way I Am is produced by BBC Jazz Award Winner Anita Wardell and features some of Britain's finest instrumentalists including Robin Aspland, Barry Green, Jeremy Brown, Steve Brown and Tristan Mailliot.

"Some of the arrangements are fairly traditional but on others we tried to mix things up a little and put the tunes into contexts which people might not expect," says Mark.

Day In Day Out acquires an unusual down beat vibe with Jeremy Brown's bass groove played on a pedal for much of the tune. Elsewhere, the opening of The Surrey With The Fringe On Top has an almost elegiac quality and It's Only A Paper Moon (played in 5/4) sounds much darker than usual.

Even the more straight-ahead arrangements receive some unusual touches such as the Anita Wardell-penned shout chorus on I'll Take Romance and unusual song choices - Randy Newman's I Don't Want To Hear It Anymore and Willie Dixon's Little Red Rooster - sit surprisingly well alongside the more conventional jazz singer's repertoire.

Track List for The Way I Am

  1. Day In Day Out
    Rube Bloom/Johnny Mercer
  2. I'll Take Romance
    Ben Oakland/Oscar Hammerstein
  3. Too Marvellous For Words
    Richard Whiting/Johnny Mercer
  4. You Go To My Head
    J. Fred Coots/Haven Gillespie
  5. It's Only A Paper Moon
    Harold Arlen/Billy Rose/ E.Y. Harburg
  6. Day Dream
    Billy Strayhorn/Duke Ellington/John La Touche
  7. Easy To Love
    Cole Porter
  8. I'm All Smiles
    Michael Leonard/Herbert Martin
  9. The Surrey With The Fringe On Top
    Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein
  10. The Song Is You
    Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein
  11. When In Rome / You Fascinate Me So
    Cy Coleman/Carolyn Leigh
  12. I Don't Want To Hear It Anymore
    Randy Newman
  13. Little Red Rooster
    Willie Dixon

Mark Jennett (vocals)

Tracks 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10 – Robin Aspland (piano), Jeremy Brown (bass), Steve Brown (drums)

Tracks 1, 5, 8, 11, 12, 13 – Barry Green (piano), Jeremy Brown (bass), Tristan Mailliot (drums)

All arrangements by Mark Jennett, Anita Wardell and the band, except ‘It’s Only A Paper Moon’ by Rob Barron. Shout chorus on ‘I’ll Take Romance’ by Anita Wardell.

Recorded at Red Gables Studios. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Dick Hammett.

PRODUCED BY ANITA WARDELL