Curtis Stigers, 'I Wonder Why' : #NowPlaying "I Wonder Why" made Stigers a star all the way back in 1991. Now, he revisits it from the perspective of a fiftysomething who's learned how to best harness his own talents.

Curtis Stigers, 'I Wonder Why'


Thirty years removed from the run of pop stardom he found with his 1991 hit "I Wonder Why," Curtis Stigers returns on Feb. 25 with a new album called This Life. The new record revisits some of those early songs from a new angle, and "I Wonder Why" gets a marvelous reworking here. It's a twentysomething's song, reinterpreted by a now-fiftysomething who lends it a new sense of maturity.

Stigers, who says he's "no longer trying to convince the world that he'd listened to a bunch of Ray Charles," is still in fine form vocally. The simple jazz-trio arrangement – complete with a Stigers sax solo – nods to his decades-long career as a jazz-centered performer. This Life could easily be described as a "Great American Songbook" album, so long as you're willing to extend that songwriting circle to include Nick Lowe, Emmylou Harris, Leonard Cohen and Stigers himself.