Real Good for Free: Spencer Day @ Hudson Waterfront Park, 8/21/09

Spencer Day (Photo: Harris t. Hartsfield)

Spencer Day (Photo: Harris t. Hartsfield)

A year ago, Spencer Day was singing at the Tanglewood Jazz Weekend. Now, with his new album slated to drop on Tuesday, September 8, the up-and-coming vocalist-songwriter-pianist is headed into the Hudson Waterfront Park in Hudson for a free concert at 7pm on Friday, August 21.

The new 14-song album, “Vagabond,” marks Day’s debut for the Concord Jazz label, but he doesn’t seem too concerned about sticking strictly to the confines of jazz.

“I wanted to create a musical hybrid,” says Day. “I’ve drawn from the Great American Songbook quite a bit in the past, but I really wanted to infuse this album with a more contemporary aesthetic and also draw on some influences from the early ’60s, like Burt Bacharach, Roy Orbison and Dusty Springfield.

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“I wanted to create a sound that could stand alone and not be easily put into one category, but at the same time appeal to a broad range of listeners.”

Indeed, while Day’s earlier efforts were primarily concerned with standards, with “Vagabond” Day has asserted himself as a songwriter, penning a dozen of the songs himself and co-authoring the other two.

And while there’s definitely an element of jazz to his music – especially in Day’s nimble phrasing – nobody’s ever going to confuse him with Mark Murphy or Jon Hendricks. In fact, it’s safe to say that Day’s new album isn’t jazz at all, but rather straight-forward adult pop that would be at home alongside Rufus Wainwright or Nellie McKay.

In case of rain, the concert will be moved indoors to the Hudson Opera House.

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