A Portand Gem!
This recording offers the best male voice that has come along in the States for quite some time. Michael is definitely comparable to the greatest male singers we have had the opportunity to encounter. Michael's choice of material is broad. His authorship on one song is great. Michael's accompanists are some of the best in the jazz field I have heard. Michael exudes the styles of Chet Baker, Mel Torme, and James Brown. His jazz is excellent and his soul-influenced prowess is endearing. Hats off to you, Michael, for being a fellow TRUE romantic. You are magnificent. This CD should be a required purchase for every person who owns a CD player!
Dr. Mark A. Goral
CD Baby Customer 2008
Michael Winkle - vocals
Joe Millward- piano
Paul Mazzio- flugelhorn
Dan Schauffler- tenor sax
Lynn Winkle- baritone sax
Dennis Caiazza - bass
The highly accomplished vocalist, Mike Winkle, did Jimmy Mak a nice favor last night: Winkle opened the set of his CD Release performance, beautifully augmented by a superb band, and immediately the temperature in the room soared. No heating bill for Jimmy this cold winter night! Winkle started off on an eighteen tune, almost non-stop musical marathon with an up tempo “Nature Boy" and there was no turning back. Already in this first tune, Mike established himself solidly as a wonderfully controlled singer, able when necessary to display a lovely vibrato one moment, and an almost Torme-like softness the next, yet also to demonstrate an impressive set of strong pipes able to take a melody flawlessly to a rousing crescendo. This man can sing!
What else was immediately obvious was the quality and variety in pianist, Joe Millward's, precise and swinging arrangements, brought to vibrant life in literally every number performed. That meant that a large and enthusiastic audience was treated to Paul Mazzio's glorious flugelhorn riffs in a number of tunes, Dan Schauffler's romping tenor on others, Dennis Caiazza 's strong bass lines and tasty selected solos, nice deep tone baritone sax touches from Winkle's daughter, Lynn, and all beautifully underpinned by Millward's fine and imaginative piano work and Marty Higgins' solid, right-on drumming.
Impressive too was Mike Winkle's programming for the evening. He kicked off the evening right on time and finished up exactly where he'd planned to! It was a great ride, and included such gems as "You make Me Feel So Young," "Blame It On My Youth" (beautifully and sweetly rendered by all,) a slow-tempo "If I Only Had a Heart," a lovely original composition, "I Guess I Knew," nicely sung and laced with a goose-bumper of a Mazzio solo, "100 Years," definitely a Winkle kind of tune, allowing him to fully display his control and vocal range, a Carole King ballad out of the sixties, and a shouter, "I Don't like You No More," a down and dirty Joe Williams gem. And more, including Al Green's “Let's Stay Together" which had the crowd on its feet and singing nostalgically along!
It's always tempting when hearing singers to play the "sounds like" game. I know I caught echoes of Bobby Darin, Mel Torme, Sinatra, and Jack Jones. Nobody grows up in a vacuum: if we're alive, we absorb things. But what struck me about Mike Winkle is that - at this juncture in a career that has included forays in and out of various musical genres - he's a genuinely accomplished jazz vocalist with a voice all his own. He knows how to use it, and has the good sense and good fortune to have surrounded himself with an arranger and a group of players that, together, produce a gorgeous sound! In my view, Mike Winkle and the band are another high point on the Portland jazz scene!
And I stayed warm all the way home!
The Only Dream, Michael Winkle, vocals.
Just when you’re sure that the male of the species has virtually disappeared from the realm of quality jazz/pop singing, along comes Michael Winkle to set your mind at ease. Michael’s new CD is a mixed bag of proven standards (“You Make Me Feel So Young,” “Blame It On My Youth,” “Summertime” and perhaps my favorite cut on the album, “If I Only Had A Heart”). But he also covers some pop things from the past in “Fool On The Hill” and “Crazy Love” among others. Certainly an album highlight is his composition, “The Only Dream That Ever Mattered.” It has a contemporary feel and a lyric that tells of one of life’s bitter lessons. Winkle is in excellent company here, singing with established PDX cats like Joe Milward, piano; Scott Steed, bass; Paul Mazzio, trumpet; Renato Caranto, tenor sax; and Jeff Uusitalo, trombone (not every guy on every track). There’s something for just about every taste and preference on this album. Michael Winkle manages to straddle the line between pop and jazz without ever losing his balance. More info can be found at www.michaelwinkle.com.
Self-produced, 2007, 45:37.
George Fendel, Oregon Jazz Scene 2008
Alexander's Lounge at the Hilton - Friday, March 31, 2006 The Ron Steen Trio, with Mike Winkle. Alexander's is a classy place and Ron Steen is a classy guy who plays his drums with finesse. Ron leads a rotating group of pianists, bassists and singers on the 23rd floor of the Hilton Hotel. It's a comfortable, elegant room, with a view of the sunset, the West Hills and finally, the night sky. On this night we were presented with the warm tone of the superb Dennis Caiazza on bass and the talented, young Greg Goebel on piano. Dennis has been here nearly four years, by way of Rochester NY, and a long stint in Atlanta leading a successful swing band, while Greg arrived two years ago after graduating with a music degree from the University of Oregon. They treated us to Brubeck's In Your Own Sweet Way, Bye Bye Blackbird, Skylark and a beautiful bossa. It was an evening for lovers, with Mike Winkle's gorgeous vocals, treating us to I've Got You Under My Skin, I Love You For Sentimental Reasons, and Lennon/McCartney's And I Love Her. My Foolish Heart had me swooning. Summertime and God Bless the Child touched the heart, as well.
The Oregon Jazz Society Club Scene
Portland singer Michael Winkle a stellar effort in debut CD! This Dance with Michael Winkle, Michael Winkle, vocals. Portland's Michael Winkle has released his initial CD and has wisely chosen great tunes with stellar arrangements and a wide array of the city's finest musicians. Winkle's 'not quite a tenor, not quite a baritone' voice is somewhere in the Chet Baker-Jim Ferguson arena and he's most impressive on tunes like Angel Eyes, Why Did I Choose You, For All We Know, Waltz For Debby, Almost Like Being In Love, and more. My 'fave' was his own composition, I Guess I Knew. Had it been written in the heyday of Songbook Americana, it would have been a major hit.
The Oregon Jazz Scene, January 2005
Michael Winkle's release, 'This Dance' displays the vocalist's abilities to perform jazz, but more importantly Michael puts his spin on this collection of tunes. Giving him a great road map to follow are the arrangements by Joe Millward and boosting the talent quotient is his choice of the best players the Portland music scene has to offer. Michael gives the listener the ability to shamelessly enjoy James Taylor's music as jazz. I enjoyed hearing Michael's beautiful use of his vibrato and his technical ability as a vocalist. Happily making this listener think, this release is as good as anything that is being received at KMHD by national jazz artists. Enjoy!
KMHD Radio, Portland, Oregon
I was driving down 99E a couple of years back and heard someone singing "For All We Know" on KMHD. I called them the next day, they gave me your name, and I promptly lost it. Then, a few weeks back I heard someone singing "Summertime," again on KMHD, and I thought, "Man, can that guy sing." The first name I thought of was "Donny Hathaway," but it sounded too new. The DJ mentioned your name, but only when I Googled you did I realize it was the same person I'd heard two years earlier. Anyway, I caught your CD release performance at Jimmy Mac's and all I can say is, you're NOT just a studio singer. Chet Baker was my avenue into Jazz, and since then my interests have been, for the most part, confined to piano trios--Keith Jarrett's Standards trio in particular. As for singers, Etta James, Tony Bennet, and Chet Baker really get to me, but that's been about it. But I've honestly never heard a current singer with your combination of control and soul, who also doesn't try simply to appeal to nostalgia. Fantastic!
Best I've heard in this genre. Love the two originals and the older classics. Gave it to my Dad for his birthday, and he loves it. Michael's voice fits this type of music.
Owner Portland Night & Day Entertainment