“If you're scanning the FM radio dial on a Tuesday night and you suddenly feel relaxed, you might be listening to Mr. Al. "Turn it up and cool it down," says the disc jockey in a voice oozing with mellow tones, "Mr. Al's Lounge, every Tuesday at 7 p.m., on WHCM FM 88.3, and streaming live at WHCMFM.com. Lounge Lives!" And so begins another installment of Mr. Al's Lounge, a delightfully quirky radio program, containing a smorgasbord of smooth jazz, blues, rat pack, soulful ballads, New Orleans music and other niche genres, broadcast from a second-floor studio in the middle of the student lounge at Harper College in Palatine. "There's definitely elements of humor in (lounge music), it's a genre in retrospect," Leinonen said. "At the time there was no lounge genre." So what exactly is lounge music you ask? Think something between easy listening and elevator music, Wayne Newton in Las Vegas, Jackie Gleason, mix in some mambo and The Lettermen covering "Hello I Love You" by The Doors.”
““I'm less concerned about the competition aspect than I am with the personal growth, if that's a cheesy way of saying artistic development,” said Mister Al of Arlington Heights, who performed a slowed-down jazzy guitar take on Don Ho's “Tiny Bubbles” on what he said was his 53rd birthday. “I just wanted to try something different. And also to have a chance to say I've performed on the Metropolis stage, which I have never done before.” From these three days of preliminary Suburban Chicago's Got Talent auditions, a top-20 list will be chosen to advance to a Metropolis performance open to the public on Sunday, July 8. ”
“Mister Al Guitar Tuning-Simply Elegant. I've been experimenting with Lounge Entertainer Mister Al's tuning concept. On a six string (if your guitar neck can handle it! Mister Al uses .007 guage Super Fines on his 8 string guitar) tune F# A C# E G# B low to high. With this open tuning you're given a nice A major chord with a natural 7th and 9th extensions. Play the top 3 strings for a 5 (E) triad. Play the bottom strings for the relative minor to the A chord. All this without touching the neck. SWEET! Now get busy with some barre chords, use your ring finger to create Dominant 7ths, Sixths, Augmented, Diminished and Octaves. It's that simple! If you have been playing Delta Blues, maybe some open tuning slide, Country or Folk and have been wondering what's next, here are the keys to the highway. Step up to some modal jazz my friend. Mister Al plays around Chicago, primarily Lounges surrounding O'Hare Airport. Look for Mister Al on Facebook and Reverb Nation or on Twitter at Mister1Al.”
"Lounge Lives" is the catchphrase for Mister Al, vocalist, guitar player and host of Mister Al's Lounge-the Radio Show on WHCM FM in Chicago's Northwest Suburbs. On stage, Mister Al takes 60's era covers, slows the tempo and drops in some jazzy extended chords for a sound that is both familiar and unique. Favorites are a swinging version of Golden Earing's "Radar Love" as well as numerous Elvis charts. Add some originals and novelty tunes (theme songs from Spiderman & Gilligan's Island) and Mister Al offers up some fun sets. Truly unique is the 8 string guitar Mister Al plays and his custom tuning called "Mistral" in honor of Django Reinhardt. "Using Mistral Tuning I can play jazz chords with just 2 fingers. It's cool to be able to play a straightforward rocker with some jazzy finesse", says the Lounge Music Impresario. Layover at O'Hare? Check out Mister Al's calendar on Facebook or Reverb Nation. Lounge Lives Indeed!
“Open tunings present a fretboard architecture for guitarists that has pluses & minuses. Garden variety open tunings are usually great for playing in the tuning's key, less so for other keys. It was an interesting converstion I had with "Mister Al", a lounge guitarist and vocalist sitting in at the O'Hare Westin. He plays a Schecter 8 string (a metal guitar if ever there was one) which has been restrung and retuned to Dmin13 in stacked thirds. He calls this tuning Mistral, in honor of Django Reinhardt. Something about a seasonal wind blowing through France and bringing harmony and health.....whatever. I do think Lounge Lizard # 1 may be on to something with his Mistral Tuning. He can barre some sweet extended chords and play relative minors with ease. Yes, these are primarily block chords, with the occasional inversion or tri-tone substitution; but Mister Al deftly combines Delta Blues power with Modern Jazz sophistication. A fascinating conception re: open tunings.”
“Are you kidding me? Last night I went to the Intercontinental Hotel to catch the Electronica show and find groovy Mister Al gigging in the lounge. I didn't know pterodactyls still roamed the earth! The man is a human Lava Lamp, purrring into the mic like a big fat cat. Heyyyy, it's the velvet smog! Really...a Mel Torme wannabe, who does that? Maybe my grandma would appreciate Mister Al's show, if she were still alive. And his Trilby from Tar-Zjay is fooling nobody. Mister Al.....Two Words.....Hairclub for Men!!!”