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Sinatra 100th: Ten Best Albums – No. 08

11 October 2015 @ 19:51

Hello, Fun-Seekers…

Sinatra-SwinginSession-001cXSince way back in January, we here at TCOTS have been celebrating Frank Sinatra’s 100th Birthday and, man, it’s been a swingin’ affair so far.  We started by ticking off the 100 Best Performances of The Chairman Of The Board on CD and digital download, and now we’re ready for another supersonic flight where the air is so rarified: counting down the Top Ten Best Albums of Mr. Sinatra, because, above everything else, ol’ Francis Albert was about da albums for a good part of his career [we’ll be featuring one album per week and this will take us right-up to the big day: 12 December].

While he may not have invented the Concept Album [and that is a matter of some dispute], Frank certainly defined and brought the genre to near-Perfection, turning out a series of them that still move the Heart and thrill the Soul.

While time will not permit me to post audio for all the tracks, I’ll try to provide a nice sampler of the tunes I enjoy the most.

So…put your seat belts on and get ready for a real mothery time [and indulge in a little ‘Hey-Hey’, if you feel the urge].

Captain Frank will be your pilot and Bobby Bell your navigator.

Let’s get this bird soaring…

09 — I Remember Tommy

I_Remember_Tommy-001xRecorded: 01, 02, 03 May 1961
Arranger: Sy Oliver
Label: Reprise
Best Mastering* on CD/Digital Download: 2013 Digital Download or 1999 Entertainer Of The Century CD or the 1993 CD with bonus track.  There are slight differences in their masterings, but they’re not so different that I can rank them in any order.
Mastering Engineer: Appears to be Lee Hershberg on all three masters.

Track Listing
[favorite Performances in black]:

  1. “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You” (George Bassman, Ned Washington) – 3:42
  2. “Imagination” (Johnny Burke, Jimmy Van Heusen) – 3:05
  3. “There Are Such Things” (George W. Meyer, Stanley Adams, Abel Baer) – 3:13
  4. “East of the Sun (and West of the Moon)” (Brooks Bowman) – 3:24
  5. “Daybreak” (Ferde Grofe, Harold Adamson) – 2:43
  6. “Without a Song” (Vincent Youmans, Billy Rose, Edward Eliscu) – 3:39
  7. “I’ll Be Seeing You” (Sammy Fain, Irving Kahal) – 2:49
  8. “Take Me” (Rube Bloom, Mack David) – 2:19
  9. “It’s Always You” (Burke, Van Heusen) – 2:49
  10. “Polka Dots and Moonbeams” (Burke, Van Heusen) – 3:43
  11. “It Started All Over Again” (Carl T. Fischer, Bill Carey) – 2:32
  12. “The One I Love (Belongs to Somebody Else)” (Isham Jones, Gus Kahn) – 2:48
  13. “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You” (Reprise) – 0:49
    1993 CD bonus track
  14. “In the Blue of Evening” (Tom Montgomery, Tom Adair, Al D’Artega) – 4:03

Frank ended-up recording this album twice for reasons the great Steve Hoffman explains:

However, Frank was discovering (or coming to terms with) the fact that he chose to do a Dorsey Tribute album and couldn’t hold the soft notes any more. This gave him endless frustration at Radio Recorders and reels and reels of tape were recorded of him trying to nail songs he could have nailed in 5 minutes just 5 years before. He was very unhappy and talked about it on the open mic during the sessions.

His head was in a much better place when he tried again at United, he had come to terms with the fact that he couldn’t sing the stuff like he had before and chose to move on instead of being Mr. Pitiful about it.

A fascinating listen for me, I felt quite uncomfortable eavesdropping on this stuff but Frank emerged a better person in a better place so all was well for him more or less after that.

While I haven’t been able to get a hold of the bootleg of those sessions tapes, I can say that the end product is just marvelous.

As a long-time fan of Big Band Music, I like the fact that this album flows like one of those old radio broadcasts when they’d feature a set by some swingin’ orchestra playing live at some swanky hotel in New York.  There’s a fine mix here of slow-dancers and jumpin’ jivers.  One only wishes the gig could have gone twice as long.

Only the 1993 CD contains the bonus track, In the Blue of Evening, which was recorded at the earlier sessions in March when Francis was struggling [although you won’t hear that here].  It would certainly add something to your listening experience if you could get this CD version, but, if that’s not possible, you are still left with one great set…and, hopefully, it will cause you to explore Frank’s work with Tommy Dorsey [this two CD set is a very good start].

-Never thought I’d fall…

That was Tommy Dorsey’s theme song.

-Starts you asking a daisy ‘What to do, what to do?’…

-Just you and I…forever and a day…

-Wherever you are you’re near me…

-Man, like a bear, you ain’t nowhere…

That was Sy Oliver on second vocals.

Bonus Track:
East Of The Sun And West Of The Moon

Just to give you a taste of Frank in the Tommy Dorsey era.

Performed by Tommy Dorsey And His Orchestra, with Tommy on lead Trombone, Frank on Vocals, and the great Bunny Berigan doing the Trumpet Solo…

See you next Weekend as we head-off again to Bobsville…and tell us your favorite albums in the Comments, Clyde.

Don’t forget to also keep checking out
Pundette’s Sinatra 100 countdown,
Ms Evi’s Sinatra Celebration,
& Mark Steyn’s Sinatra Songs Of The Century.
It’s a ring-a-ding world.

If you’re having trouble tracking down any of the masterings on this List, contact me at Robert[dot]Belvedere[at]gmail[dot]com and I might be able to help you.


*The links I’m providing for the best CD/Digital
masterings are not meant to be an endorsement of
the site linked to. I receive no enumeration or any
kind of considerations from them. They are linked
for informational purposes only.

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