Victor Shanley had once been New York City's most-acclaimed crime-fighting, crusading District Attorney and the scourge of the underworld. But the workaholic demands of the job led him to drinking and alcoholism. Dismissed from office in disgrace and divorced by his wife, Carol, Shanley soon found himself a gutter-drunk. But when hired by gangster Al Kruger, racketeer in charge of a hot-car ring, Shanley is soon back on top and made rich in the process, and relishing the revenge he had taken on the law-and-order faction he bitterly thought had done him an injustice.
Robert Cray adds a bit more soul to the mix on this album, which features the Memphis Horns most prominently. Most of the songs are Cray doing what Cray does best–slow, soulful, done-me-wrong (or, alternatively, I-done-wrong) songs chock full of great guitar. No complaints there, and when he adds a bit of vocal growl here and there, as on the album opener "The Forecast (Calls for Pain)" (also featuring some excellent bass from Richard Cousins), and the slow shuffle "Holdin' Court," it keeps things interesting. This album indicates a slight shift in Cray's direction; although he's always included a touch of soul in his blues, here it's more pronounced than before, a tendency he continued in subsequent recordings.
This novel continues the exciting story begun in Sheldon's "The Other Side of Midnight." In that novel, mega-rich Constantin Demiris manipulated the Greek court to have his mistress, Noelle, and her lover, Larry, executed for the murder of Larry's wife. No body was ever found, and in fact, she was alive and well, under the watchful eyes of Demiris.
"Memories of Midnight" begins as amnesiac Catherine starts remembering things…like the fact that her husband was killed for her supposed "murder." This could prove dangerous to Demiris, who sends her to London to work for him. Meanwhile, back in Greece, all the people who know that Catherine is still alive are systematically killed, and, just as Catherine finds a new love, someone is sent to kill her.
John Pizzarelli lays it all out in the title of his 2015 album: this tribute to Paul McCartney is designed for play in the smoky late-night hours, when everything turns sweet and mellow. Furthermore, this is a tribute to McCartney, not the Beatles. There isn't a Fab song to be found here, as Pizzarelli focuses entirely on Paul's solo work (for these intents and purposes, this includes Wings records), concentrating on the '70s but also sliding McCartney's Great American Songbook wannabe "My Valentine" into the mix.