Steve Cromity is a jazz vocalist who delivers smooth, melodic phrasing of songs, and one who also cares about the message in the lyrics he sings. Wisdom and understanding is a big thing with Steve. Although he has been practicing his craft for over ten years, prior to music’s calling he had accomplished a successful career in the public sector. During those years the necessity of working well with people was paramount, an art that he still applies. In addition, Steve holds spiritual values that underpin his positive approach to life and his desire to lift others through beautiful, meaningful songs and melodies.
Steve is an original New Yorker, born in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn where he grew up. His family’s apartment was on the first floor above a tavern, Jack’s Bar and Grill. From his earliest recollection, he remembers hearing Coltrane, Miles, and Nina as in those days there were juke boxes that had the latest jazz releases on them. It was too early for him to know who they were then, but those sounds seeped into his soul forever. Later, he played drums in junior high and high school and his musical appreciation and musical knowledge was that much more established.
However, some years passed with no musical involvement, and he had a family to raise. But, then he heard Eddie Jefferson, “the godfather of vocalese” and he was smitten with what Eddie was doing. That was the seed that blossomed into where Steve is today, a seasoned, textured, and matured vocalist (and his family bloomed as well). After Eddie, his other influences were Oscar Brown, Jr., Johnny Hartman, and Billy Eckstine.
Steve’s actual foray into the world of jazz was at the outset of his debut CD,
“Steppin’ Out,” some years ago. It was impressive and garnered him considerable accolades. From the very beginning, Steve worked with several leading NYC jazz musicians. With special thanks to tenor saxophonist, Eric Wyatt, he brought in pianist, Rodney Kendrick; bassist, Joseph Lepore; and drummer, Emanuel Harold to compose the band.
Now, Steve is an active player on the NYC jazz scene, increasingly making his voice heard and presence felt. He’s performed at many of New York’s top venues, including Birdland, Smoke, Cleopatra’s Needle, Katano, Lenox Lounge and Jazz 966. He has performed with many of NYC’s finest jazz artist: including, Paul Beaudry, Kenyatta Beasley, Richard Clements, Bruce Cox, Patience Higgins, Alex Layne, Marcus Persiani, James Weidman, and Eric Wyatt.
Steve patiently waited to create this new CD, doing so when he had something to say. Having used the time since his last CD preparing by “wood-shedding” and on the stage. This CD represents the best in vocal jazz and the genre. On it, he has with him several great NYC musicians: Kenyatta Beasley, trumpet; Patience Higgins, flute, tenor sax, and soprano; Eric Wyatt, tenor sax; Marcus Parsiani, piano; Eric Lemon, bass; and Darrell Green, drums.
The songs Steve selected for this CD are just some of his favorites, but those you’ll hear fit the various rhythms, moods, and concepts he most wanted to convey. Steve particularly loves to swing, so “Old Devil Moon,” “When lights are low,” “Sugar,” “Jeannine,” and “Without a song,” all swing in various tempos. The ballads “All my tomorrows,” the theme of the CD, is served-up with heart-felt feelings, and so is “Where do we start”, a poignant, impassioned piece. “My little boat,” the Bossa of the CD project, is all about the bliss of romance. The third ballad, “I was telling her about you” is a bit tongue-in-cheek and somewhat humorous, but a condition known to actually happen. Between all of those is “How little we know,” definitely one of Steve’s favorites. Enjoy!
Here’s other remarks expressed about Steve:
• “… a straight ahead, crisply swinging session from a talented singer with impeccable diction and an ear for great songs”.
– All About Jazz
• “…a revered melodic accuracy, and cool and comfortable outlook that will put a smile on your face”.
– Cadence Magazine
• “…what Steve presents to us is Pure Honesty in his music…’Jazz is a cat being honest with himself’ (and thereby with us). And the hip part is that it works”!
– Rob Crocker, WBGO FM-Radio personality
• “I listened to “Steppin’ Out” in its entirety and I think your phrasing and your selection of material are in the hippest tradition of the art”.
– Oscar Brown, Jr., the late, legendary singer and composers