““Let’s Fall In Love” has a great new arrangement from pianist Gary Fukushima; from the unison intro lines of guitar and piano punctuated with hits, one gets the idea that this is going to be a good listen. The unison lines are again heard at the end of each section that Cairns sings the melody, giving the arrangement a nice flow and cohesive balance. An interlude is added at the end of the form which finds Cairns relaxed voice teamed up with guitarist Larry Koonse in a series of rhythmic hits that segues nicely into the guitar solo portion of the arrangement. Koonse delivers a swinging solo over the two A sections followed by Cairns finishing the form. That brings us to the real treat of this arrangement, a beautifully composed vocal ease in which Cairns masterfully executes streams of complex rhythmic and intervallic lines in unison with guitar, bass, and piano. This is a great arrangement of this well known standard.”
“ Roger Cairns has been making music for the last 15 years. His two previous self-produced recordings, A Scot in LA (2006) and Let's... (2008), were well received when released and featured full ensembles, where The Dream of Olwen is just Cairns and pianist/musical partner Gary Fukushima in a classical vocal recital, capturing well the talents of both men. The intimate format of the recital is one well chosen for Cairns, whose voice is more about nuance and implication than extroverted presentation. The dozen pieces on The Dream of Olwen are quiet ballads. "You Must Believe in Spring" and "Solitary Moon" form a stylistic hinge on the disc, invoking that romantic element of Nature in a gentle and thoughtful way. The title song is one from Cairns Scottish youth and translates well into a ballad that easily enters the solution of the remainder of the disc. The Dream of Olwen finds Cairns and Fukushima in a very good place, one where we may anticipate much more of this fine music. ”
“Roger’s talent for balladry shows immediately, even on the first few bars, though, so he’s able to wrap me into his vocal spell. Gary Fukushima’s gentle piano accompaniment is a large part of that mystique, I think, since I love good solid piano, but it’s ultimately the wide range Roger has, along with the clearly heartfelt emotion he’s able to pack into each song that will make a very attentive listener out of you. An even dozen tunes to warm the cockles of anyone contemplating the pain/pleasure of love. I give this one a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, as well as an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.95.”
“Roger Cairns has been singing for years and has delivered many Great American Songbook shows to several jazz venues in the L.A. region. August 7th, was the release of his third CD, Dream of Olwen, at Café 322 in Sierra Madre. Cairns has collaborated with fine pianist Gary Fukushima, for several years and they began the evening with three songs from the new CD, all performed as a duo: “Where Do You Start” (Johnny Mandel), “I’m in Love Again” (Cy Coleman/Peggy Lee), and the title track, “Dream of Olwen” (Charles Williams). With their quintet, they continued with “They Say It’s Wonderful” (Irvin Berlin), “Solitary Moon” (Johnny Mandel) and “Blackberry Winter” (Alec Wilder). “That Sunday, That Summer” (Joe Sherman/George Weiss) and “Lullaby of Birdland” (George Shearing) were vocal highlights of the entire evening. Cairns’ voice is deep, shows passionate integrity and is convincingly warm. With too few male jazz vocalists today, Roger Cairns is one”
"The Dream of Olwen", by Roger Cairns & Gary Fukushima, is easy listening music at its best. This duo has taken a superb collection of Great American songs from the past and interweaves their own musical interpretations to them. Vocalist, Roger Cairns, sings with a deep and rich tonality while Gary Fukushima accompanies him on the piano with delicate and dreamy dexterity. The classic song, "I'm In Love Again," is an expressive ballad as Cairns projects his voice with emotional sincerity while Fukushima performs with a tender, crisp and clean piano accompaniment. A favorite standard from the past, "Ebb Tide," is performed with passionate vocals and gently surging piano complexities. Another delightful number, "For All We Know," is delicate and dreamy as the relaxed vocals and sweet piano melodiously charm its way into your heart and soul. If you like Andy Williams or Mel Torme, then you will thoroughly enjoy the splendid collection of songs on the wonderful album, "The Dream of Olwen."
“Scottish born singer Roger Cairns who now lives in LA. worked with the Dirk Fischer Big Band for a dozen years before forming the Roger Cairns Jazz Crew in 2004. Two years later, Roger released his debut CD, A Scot in L.A. His sophomore effort, Let’s… followed two years later. His interpretations of standards are thoughtful and sometimes very playful. And he’s willing to take on the challenge of a complex, difficult piece, making it appear to be as easy to sing as breathing. Roger brought his Jazz Crew with him. They are Gary Fukushima on piano, Matt Otto on tenor sax, J.P. Maramba on upright bass, and Ryan Doyle on drums.”
“Roger Cairns’ delivery on his new CD, The Dream of Olwen, is demonstrative of the music of his youth born in the wake of the World War II and weaned on a healthy does of Andy Williams, Johnny Mandel, and Michel Legrand among others. Every bend in his enunciation of the lyrics and every ascension and descent in his elocution is reminiscent of the music of his youth. Accompanied by the sensitive strokes of pianist Gary Fukushima, The Dream of Olwen sets the listener adrift along memory lane to a time that lingers in Cairns’ mind and heart.”