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FRANK SINATRA - Watertown Vocal Jazz | review permalink
FRANK SINATRA - No One Cares Vocal Jazz | review permalink

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Vocal Jazz 3 4.50

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FRANK SINATRA Frank Sinatra Sings Days of Wine and Roses, Moon River and Other Academy Award Winners

Album · 1964 · Vocal Jazz
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Frank Sinatra - Days of Wine and Roses, Moonriver and other Academy Award winners (1964)

This album, listed under compilations, is actually a studio album released in 1964 with new recordings of a list of former Academy Awards winning songs (originally performed by other performers). The band, string & copper sections are arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle. His work on most songs is very good, but 'Moon river' (which of course became one of his most famous songs), 'Three coins in a fountain', 'Secret love' and 'Love is many-splendored thing' stand out as more bombastic, inventive, lively and symphonic in nature. Simpler songs like 'Days of wine and roses' and 'The continental' are less impressive, but still strong.

Frank's vocals are strong, but one can't help getting the feeling he is saving some of his brilliance on the simpler songs on the album, whilst the more impressive arrangements allow him to give his full voice. The most enchanting moments are 'Moonriver' in its entirety, the wonderful couplet themes of 'Three coins in a fountain', the subtle warm opening section of 'Secret love' and grandiose vocals on 'Love is a many-splendored thing'.

Overall this album is an easy entry for most people, all songs are accessible. Fans of more artistic forms of jazz-vocal music might want to collect some other Sinatra albums first for this reason.

Conclusion. A good, light and playful (yet sometimes impressive) vocal jazz record with both a copper and a string section. Don't miss on 'Moonriver'! Four stars.


Album · 1970 · Vocal Jazz
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Frank Sinatra - Watertown (1970)

I became a music collector at age eighteen, collecting mainly psychedelic and progressive rock. 'Watertown' proved to be the perfect introduction in my long anticipated (but sadly delayed) venture into vocal jazz.

Thirst of all. I strongly believe this is one of the best records in my collection. I've always loved concept albums, but the combination of jazz vocals, jazz arrangements influenced by modern artistic forms of pop and a legend that makes one of his last stands with intimate and seemingly deeply moving performances is just unbelievable. But that doesn't yet make a record good, the compositions of Bod Gaudio and Jake Holmes are simply great and very sticky in a good way. The production is strong and lively in how it let's all songs follow up each other very nicely, which adds to the concept-album vibe.

The story is about a man living in the boring Watertown (Every-one knows the perfect crime; killing time) whose wife leaves him and their two kids for an exciting city life. The great opening track with it's gangster-like opening theme is a good introduction, but the first real blow comes with the well written en emotionally performed 'Goodbye' ("She reaches out across the table, looks at me and quietly says... good-bye"). The ballad 'Michel & Peter' is moving for it expresses a man's love for his family, a sentiment that is expressed not too often. 'What's now is now' stands out for it's positive energy and strong message, just before the artistic and inventive 'She Says'. The final track, 'The Train', is exciting and strongly emotional because of the strong open ending of the story.

Conclusion. A very moving concept album and qualitative entertaining experience. Somehow there are a lot of songs I carry with me. Five stars fully deserved.


Album · 1959 · Vocal Jazz
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Frank Sinatra - No one cares (1959) * my first review for jazzmusicarchives

'No one cares' is the second low-paced, bluesy, all-ballad string-album of Frank Sinatra and conductor Gordon Jenkins. After the succes of 'Where are you' (1957) and 'Only the Lonely' (1958) with Nelson Riddle yet a third album of this kind was released between the otherwise up-tempo brass arranged albums of the Capital period.

One can't help to be bit amazed about the magical environment that is your living-room whilst playing a record like this. The string arrangements, backed up by bass an chords-guitar sound great, even though this is a mono-recording from '59. Because of lack of drums, there is a more intimate sound to this album, even though the string-arrangements sound grotesque. Frank Sinatra is his prime and shines especially on the moments on which he interprets bluesy lines with his jazzy background. It's almost like acting without a screen, these performances are alive.

The atmosphere of this record is whimsical and bluesy most of the time, but some songs have a more orchestral approach, like the impressive and brilliantly arranged 'Where Do You Go?' (a personal favorite of mine) and the adventurous 'Here's That Rainy Day' with its particularly strong opening section. On other songs I get sucked up in the slow pace and the tragic vocals and lyrics "When no one cares..".

Conlusion. A very impressive bluesy low pace vocal jazz record that get's me out of my busy thinking. Just sit down and dream a while. Four and halve stars for this one.

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