The Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall proudly welcomes back Steve Tyrell for a concert featuring songs from his latest album, Back to Bacharach. The concert is Friday, April 24, at 8:00 p.m. and is part of the Performing Arts Center's 2008-2009 Great Performers Series, presented by M&T Bank.
Tickets for Steve Tyrell are $37-$32 each, with a discount for seniors and rush tickets for students. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the Rockwell Hall Box Office, 1300 Elmwood Ave., by calling 716-878-3005 or online at www.buffalostate.edu/pac. Box Office hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Every recording artist has one album that they are destined to make - an album so singularly in-sync with their sensibility and history that its' making smacks of pure destiny. For Steve Tyrell - the distinguished Grammy winner and Emmy nominated purveyor of pop standards, as well as a behind the scenes impresario- that album is Back to Bacharach, a deeply personal collection of songs from the piano of Burt Bacharach and the pen of Hal David.
For music lovers the world over, songs like "The Look of Love," "Walk On By," "Close to You," "A House Is Not a Home" and "Alfie" are indelibly bound to our DNA, haunting strands of melodious memories that bring forth a flood of emotions and associations. For Steve Tyrell, they represent milestones in a distinguished career and the joys and pains of his own personal life.
"This album is different from any I'll ever do," states Tyrell, who in the last decade has been at the forefront of a renaissance in recordings from the Great American Songbook via his previous six projects and the Grammy winning albums he produced with Rod Stewart. "The music of my friends Burt and Hal has been a lifelong collaboration. Their songs are my songs. It's a very unique situation."
Indeed. It was as a bright and ambitious 19 year-old that Steve journeyed from Houston, Texas to New York City to work at pop and soul music giant Scepter Records. By that time, he'd already been a recording artist at 15, scoring local R&B hits on the Philips and London labels.
When Steve arrived at Scepter Records, he immediately found himself surrounded by swiftly developing super teams such as Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson and Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil. But it was with a pair of outside contractors - songwriting producers Burt Bacharach & Hal David - that Steve would forge his most personal alliance.
Through his work with Bacharach & David, Tyrell got to work in motion pictures and at a very young age became one of the first music supervisors responsible for coordinating hit songs with the release of the films they appeared in. Those successes included "The Look of Love" (recorded for the James Bond spy spoof Casino Royale by Dusty Springfield), the theme for Alfie, the theme from the legendary Jacqueline Susan film Valley Of The Dolls and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid's" Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" - the one that earned Bacharach & David the Oscar for 1969's Best Original Song in a Motion Picture.
In the early `70s, Steve moved to California and co-founded (with Barry Mann) Tyrell-Mann Music in order to continue his innovative work in movie music. Among his many achievements, Steve won a Grammy in 2004 for producing Rod Stewart's Stardust: The Great American Songbook, Volume III. And the three-time Emmy-nominee co-produced with Peter Asher the groundbreaking "Somewhere Out There" for Steven Spielberg's 1986 feature An American Tail. That recording won two Grammy Awards for "Song Of The Year" and "Best Song From A Motion Picture."
Steve was content working his behind-the-scenes magic until he was "rediscovered" as an artist singing "The Way You Look Tonight" as the wedding singer in Disney's 1991 comedy Father of the Bride. After he sang two more numbers in the 1995 sequel, fans demanded more of Tyrell, resulting in his first album A New Standard, released on Atlantic Records to a 90-week run on the Billboard jazz chart and peaking in the Top 5. A switch to Columbia Records resulted in three more Top 5 charters: Standard Time (2001), This Time of Year (2002) and This Guy's In Love (2003).
In 2003, the stage was finally set for Steve to do the Bacharach album. He called Burt in to help and got two songs completed before tragedy struck. His beloved wife and co-producer of the first three albums, Stephanie Tyrell, had been diagnosed with cancer. When Stephanie became ill, Steve put everything on hold. He completed his fourth album, This Guy's in Love, with other standards he'd already recorded and spent the last 18 months of his wife's life by her side.
After Stephanie's death, Steve did not immediately return to the Bacharach project. First came the equally humbling and fortifying Songs of Sinatra project for Hollywood Records in 2005 which once again achieved Top 5 status on the Billboard jazz charts, followed by a collection of Disney film music titled The Disney Standards in 2006, which achieved Top 10 status on the Billboard jazz charts. Finally ready to get Back to Bacharach, Steve took a year and a half to handcraft his dream project.
"I like to say Back to Bacharach was 40 years in the making," Steve concludes. "There is no other music like this in my life. And I am honored to share it with the world...my way."
The Great Performers Series is sponsored by M&T Bank and WBFO.