Keeping Track - Dateline September 2004

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SIDNEY TORCH All Strings and Fancy Free Living Era CD AJA5540 74:50 mins. [full track listing in JIM 159 – page 30] Happy recollections of the heyday of ‘Friday Night Is Music Night’ and the first CD appearance of Sydney Norman’s Cornflakes make this a "must have" for your reviewer. I cannot help feeling that Sidney Torch has been overlooked somewhat in the current revival of our kind of music. He is even inexplicably missing from Peter Gammond’s otherwise excellent Oxford Companion to Popular Music. So it is only right that David Ades should have delved into his extensive collection and resurrected these particular original 78s. Nine of the 25 tracks are pieces penned by Torch, including the classic Shooting Star and the title track with its fine sounding pizzicato string sound. This is also evident to a lesser extent in Canadian In Mayfair by Angela Morley and High Heels which David reminds us, in his customary informative booklet notes, was Trevor Duncan’s first success as a composer. Another Torch arrangement is a cracking [if not quite in the Percy Faith league] six-minute, six tune Pan American Fantasy. Sharing the maestro’s love of music in the Latin idiom, I also enjoyed his own Fandango and Philippe Gerard’s Without My Lover. Other composers contributing include Coates, Ellis [an atmospheric Coronation Scot], Lecuona and Porter [arrangements by Morley], Richardson and Ross [a.k.a. Ray Martin]. The playing is robust in true Sidney Torch style and Alan Bunting’s audio restoration and remastering nothing short of wonderful. More of the same, please. Peter Burt

MANTOVANI American Scene My Old Kentucky Home, Camptown Races, I Dream Of Jeannie, The Old Folks At Home, Ring De BanjoBeautiful Dreamer, Home On The Range, Grandfather’s Clock, Yellow Rose Of Texas, Just A-Wearyin’ For You, Turkey In The Straw, Goodnight Irene Concert Spectacular Stars And Stripes Forever, Estrellita, Theme from ‘A Summer Place’, Granada, Forgotten Dreams, Thunder And Lightning Polka, Zapateado, Londonderry Air, By The Sleepy Lagoon, A Trumpeter’s Lullaby, The Green Leaves Of Summer, The Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers. Vocalion CDLK 4157 [76.33 mins.] To my mind these two albums, now issued on CD in the UK for the first time, are musically and technically among the best Mantovani recorded. Originating from 1959 and 1960 respectively, there is that gorgeous string sound a-plenty but much more besides. The traditional American tunes, in arrangements by Cecil Milner and Monty himself, can only be described as delicious. Stephen Foster wrote the first six melodies – the massed tremolo strings in the opening number are stunning. Henry Clay Work’s Grandfather’s Clock, played on a musical box, is especially charming. The second album captures the excitement and variety of a Mantovani live performance. The well-contrasted items all have good tunes. The purple prose of the original sleeve notes conjures up "the thrilling grandeur of Thunder and Lightning Polka, the fragile, gentle beauty of Londonderry Air, and the jaunty fantasy of The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers". This last piece brings back childhood memories of Larry the Lamb, Ernest the Policeman, Mr Growser, et al. Long may Mr Dutton continue to pick the plums out of the Mantovani discography. I am hoping that ‘Folk Songs Around the World’ and ‘Songs to Remember’, two albums I missed on Lp, might be on his list. And also, of course, ‘Continental Encores’, ‘Gypsy’, ‘Songs of Praise’, ‘Old and New Fangled Tangos’ …… Peter Burt

FRANK CHACKSFIELD & HIS ORCHESTRA Beyond The Sea Ebb Tide, How Deep Is The Ocean?, Deep River, Stranger On The Shore, Moonlight On The Ganges, Sea Mist, Shenandoah, The Sea, Moon River, Sleepy Lagoon, Victory At Sea The Victors The Victors – My Special Dream, Cabinet Of Caligari – Sounds Of The Night, Divorce Italian Style – Theme, The VIPs – The Willow, Days Of Wine And Roses – Theme, 8½ – Theme, From Russia With Love – Theme, A New Kind Of Love – Theme, Mondo Cane – More, Toys In The Attic – Theme, David And Lisa – Love song, The Cardinal – Main Theme. Vocalion CDLK 4222 [68:59 mins.] Michael Dutton has brought us some excellent Chacksfield mono CDs; here he turns his attention to two from the stereo years. The first is a 1964 Decca Phase 4 production that begins with a twin-channelled take on what, originally released in 1953, became a second million seller for Chacksfield by 1961 [the first being the Limelight Theme in 1953] and the first-ever British non-vocal disc to reach No.1 in the U.S. charts. It ends with a dramatic 7-minute version of Richard Rodger’s Victory At Sea, complete with sound effects. Thankfully, only Sleepy Lagoon features an ethereal female voice. The maestro himself penned Sea Mist under his Roger Senicourt pseudonym. The second album is a Decca SKL also issued in the same year, with all the arrangements by Roland Shaw. It is nice to be reminded of some attractive themes from films of the 1960s that are, with a few notable exceptions, fairly forgotten. There is some fine trumpet on Nino Rota’s theme for Fellini’s 8½ [I remember a ‘Steptoe’ episode where Albert asks whether this is the director’s hat size] and, characteristically, the French horn [Neil Sanders?] stands out on several tracks, notably Cabinet of Caligari. But there is a lustre about earlier reissued Chacksfield recordings not always obvious here. He is definitely at his best, too, with music in the romantic/lyrical idiom and, although well recorded, quite entertaining and worth buying at the price, I would not put either of these 2-on-1 albums in my all-time Chacksfield top 10. Peter Burt

FERDE GROFE Grand Canyon Suite (Sunrise, Painted Desert, On the Trail, Sunset, Cloudburst), Mississippi Suite (Father of Waters, Huckleberry Finn, Old Creole Days, Mardi Gras), Niagara Falls Suite (Thunder of the Waters, Devil’s Hole Massacre, Honeymooners, Power of Niagara).Naxos 6.110002 Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra conducted by William T. Stromberg.This companion disc to the earlier set of Grofe suites is simply superb. Has there ever been a more atmospheric piece of light music than the Grand Canyon Suite? One can almost feel the shimmering heat at noon and the hailstones rattling down the gorge during the all-consuming thunderstorm. Grofe was a master of all kinds of music from popular songs, through light classical to expansive arrangements for Paul Whiteman’s original big band but this is perhaps his most memorable. If you like light music then you cannot afford to be without it. Edmund Whitehouse

BRITISH BY ARRANGEMENT 2 Three American Sketches (Peter Hope); Tango in D (Albeniz arr. Malcolm Arnold); Majorcan Fantasy (Peter Hope); Airs & Graces (Eric Wetherell); Mexican Hat Dance (Peter Hope); Fantasia & Fugue on the theme B-A-C-H (Liszt, arr. Christopher Phelps); The Lark in the Clear Air (Peter Hope); Fantasia on Auld Lang Syne (Ernest Tomlinson). Royal Ballet Sinfonia conducted by Gavin Sutherland Sanctuary Group Whiteline CD WHL 2155. Yet another masterpiece from producer Philip Lane and conductor Gavin Sutherland with the promise of more to come. It’s all jolly good British stuff with an outstanding final extended offering by our very own Ernest Tomlinson, which includes all the instruments of the orchestra plus a few tinkling pots and pans thrown in for good measure. It is titled Auld Lang Syne but that is just an excuse to enjoy a real Lancashire hotpot of just about every famous classical tune one can think of. Great stuff! Peter Hope is represented with four excellent original pieces while Eric Wetherell, Christopher Phelps and Malcolm Arnold all chip in with handy arrangements. Whatever next? Peter Worsley

GUILD LIGHT MUSIC series - Vol. 4 Great British Light Orchestras; Vol. 5 Great American Light Orchestras. (For details and track listings please see JIM 159) When my review of the Guild Series appeared in JIM 159, it will have been apparent to readers that I had not yet had the opportunity to listen to volumes 4 and 5; this situation has now been remedied. I am delighted to report that the high standard of volumes 1-3 has certainly been maintained, perhaps even surpassed. The format remains the same, with a good mix of established favourites, together with some real gems which have "made it" onto CD for the first time. Once again, David Ades has expertly compiled and sequenced the programmes, whilst Alan Bunting’s digitally restored sound is quite outstanding. Also worthy of mention, and an object lesson to some other record companies, is the first-class graphic design and presentation of the entire series, this being the work of Paul Brooks. Amongst the items on the "English" CD are two pieces which will evoke memories of the early post-WWII "BBC Television Service" - as it was then known; Eric Coates’ "Television March", the service’s signature tune, and "Spring Morning", a George Melachrino composition for the EMI Mood Music Library, which was used from time to time behind the stories on "Television Newsreel". The "American" CD contains some particularly interesting material, including a little-known piece by Terrig Tucci (composer of "Edelma"), entitled "Holiday in Rio" – did he write anything else, I wonder? I understand that yet more CDs are soon to follow; I am sure these will be eagerly awaited by the growing band of Guild collectors. Tony Clayden

BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC DISCOVERIES 6 March Past of the RAF (Walford Davies); Legend of the Lake (Gareth Glyn); Londonderry Air (Hamilton Harty); Rondo in A (John Field); Overture 1912 (Iain Hamilton); Tarka the Otter; Serenata (David Fanshawe); Frank Lloyd Wright Suite (Christopher Slaski). Gavin Sutherland conducting the Royal Ballet Sinfonia ASV WHL 2149. John Field, Walford Davies and Hamilton Harty need no introduction and their splendid music survives them. Iain Hamilton’s Overture 1912 is dedicated to Dan Leno and the music hall genre in which he performed for so many years, while Gareth Glyn’s Legend of the Lake has much to do with mystic Anglesey where he lives. Tarka the Otter still remains popular today but Christopher Slaski is a young composer making a mark in the concert hall, his Frank Lloyd Wright Suite being an evocation of various buildings designed by the famous American architect. How much more British Light Music is out there left to be discovered? We can only surmise what producer Philip Lane and conductor Gavin Sutherland still have stashed up their sleeves. Edmund Whitehouse

PROMISES KEPT Steve Kuhn with strings Lullaby, Life's backward glance, Trance, Morning dew, Promises kept, Adagio, Celtic princess, Nostalgia, Oceans in the sky, Pastorale. Steve Kuhn piano, David Finck Bass, Orchestrated and conducted by Carlos Franzetti. ECM1815, timing 58:26 mins. ECM releases although beautifully recorded and packaged often come across as slightly sterile. There are exceptions and we certainly have one here! This CD is better described melodic, evocative and a treat for the senses. All are original compositions by Steve Kuhn, displaying seductive lushness in both writing and execution. This CD is a showcase for stellar and like minded musicians, completely outclassing similar set-ups. Paul Clatworthy

ELIZABETH JANE BALDRY, Harp Victorian Fairy Harp Music Ballade de la Fée, A Fairy Legend, Ondina, Recollections of the Enchantress, In Twilight Hour, In Fairyland, Conte de Fées, Le Révil des Elfes, Choeur de Nymphes, La Danza degli Spiriti Campion CAMEO 2025, 65:42 mins. The actual title of this charming collection is ‘Harp of wild and dreamlike Strain’, which gives a clue to the delights to be found on this little silver disc. Elizabeth Jane Baldry is fascinated with harp music from the Victorian era, and listening to this collection one can imagine an elegantly dressed young lady gently caressing a harp to the delight of the assembled company in the large lounge of a country house, illuminated by the flickering light of dozens of candles from several glass chandeliers. Such is the power of beautiful music to get one’s fertile imagination wandering! These are all premiere recordings of long-forgotten works (by composers such as Felix Godefroid, Charles Oberthür, Giorgio Lorenzi and John Balsir Chatterton) discovered by Elizabeth Jane in various nineteenth century archives. The recording was made in the ballroom of Buckland Manor in Devon, and the acoustic seems perfectly suited to the harp. If you need some soothing listening to transport you well away from the troubles of the day, you could hardly do better than select several tracks from this magical collection. Pure delight from start to finish! David Ades Campion CDs are available from the RFS Record Service, price £12 [US $24].

BEBEL GILBERTO Simplesmente, Aganju, All around, River song, Every day you've been away, Cada beijo, O Caminho, Baby, Ce'u distante, Winter, Jabuticaba, Next to you. Warner East West 5050467 3266 20, 47:56 mins. Don't be put off by the titles, the bulk of lyrics are in English and her voice is made in heaven. When you absorb the sound you will think you are listening to Astrud Gilberto all over again! Nine of the delectable songs are written by Bebel, sometimes collaborating, all twelve tracks imbibed with pure hands in the air pleasure. The accompaniment is sometimes sparse sometimes full bloodied but always gorgeous and aurally stunning. It should sell by the bucket load. Paul Clatworthy

CYRIL STAPLETON Come ‘N’ Get It 12 original compositions by Reg Owen Songs You Won’t Easily Forget Stranger on the Shore, English Country Garden, Catch a Falling Star, Romantica, Sway, Moon River, I Can’t Stop Loving You, etc..Vocalion CDLK4232, 70:44 mins. If anyone needs an example of the great versatility of the Cyril Stapleton Orchestra, it can certainly be found on this CD. The first LP features 12 Reg Owen big band numbers that will have found favour at the time, because thousands of British young men were still being conscripted into National Service when the LP first came out in 1959. The second LP (from 1962) contains some lovely light orchestral arrangements by Len Stevens, that fine composer of so many works for the mood music libraries. David Ades

THE MANY MOODS OF ANN RICHARDS By myself, Be easy, be tender, Where do you go, I'm gonna laugh, I gotta have you, Lazy afternoon, Something's coming, Every time, When the sun comes out, Poor little extra girl, Seasons Reasons, I'm late. Arrangements by Ralph Carmichael, Bill Holman and Tak Shindo. TOO MUCH! accompanied by Stan Kenton's Orchestra. It's a wonderful world, The morning after, I was the last to know, My kinda love, I got rhythm, No moon at all, Don't be that way, Suddenly I'm sad, Nobody like my baby, All or nothing at all. Arrangements by Gene Roland, Johnny Richards, Bill Holman, Stan Kenton and Wayne Dunstan, Capitol 7243 5 97055 2, 2-CD, 78:33 mins. I've always treasured Ann's album made with Brian Farnon, I was not in to vocals so much then, the Farnon name was the draw! There are plenty of songs on the first album that unfathomably got lost along the way. Nice strings on "I'm gonna laugh" and the writing on "Something's coming" is the best I have heard since Frank Comstock's version for The Hi Lo's. The second half gets off to a bad start with a scat reading of "It's' a wonderful world" which sounds more like Ann forgot the lyrics! Give me Peggy Lee any day! Kenton's score featuring trombones on "I was the last one to know" provides one of the highlights of the CD. Bill Holman's slow inventive start of "I got rhythm" rings the changes more than a little, Ann goes over the top at the close spoiling it! Despite my few gripes a good package. Paul Clatworthy

WERNER MULLER Wild Strings The Breeze and I, Dance Ballerina Dance, Hora Staccato, Moonglow, Ritual Fire Dance, El Rancho Grande, TD’s boogie woogie, Granada, Vilia, How Hight the Moon, Lady of Spain, The World is Waiting for the Sunrise Percussion in the Sky You Are my Lucky Star, The High and Mighty, Don’t Let the Stars Get in your Eyes, I Got the Sun in the Morning, Blue Moon, Look for a Star, Moonlight Becomes You, Over the Rainbow, I’m Sitting on top of the World, The Moon Was Yellow, Stairway to the Stars, When You Wish Upon a Star Vocalion CDLK4235, 64:22. In my early teens I became aware of the exciting sound of the Werner Müller Orchestra, and it used to be a cause of great frustration at the time to discover that his Polydor LPs were only available in Germany, and currency restrictions made it virtually impossible to import them into Britain. Eventually things changed for the better, and "Wild Strings" was eagerly snapped up as soon as it appeared on Decca’s ‘new release’ lists in 1963 (not 1969 as the CD states). "Percussion in the Sky" is perhaps a bit over the top with its stereo gimmicks, but both albums were fine examples of their kind. I’m glad to have them available again on CD. David Ades

BOUND FOR GLORY Songs and Piano Pieces on a Railway Theme From a Railway Carriage(Francis Jackson, Alec Rowley, Henry Ley, Carol Barratt); Adlestrop (Gordon Jacob, Ivor Gurney, Peter Duffy, John Mc Lain); Traveller’s Song (Glinka); Ambulance Train (John Jeffreys); Midnight on the Great WesternCalypso (Britten); Coronation Scott (Vivian Ellis); The Railroad (Geoffrey Kimpton); Metropolitan Railway (Leslie East); Diss (Geoffrey Wright), Skimbleshanks (Cats) (A.L. Webber); The Old Railway Line, I Came To Oxford, The Demise of Harpenden Junction Box (John Mc Lain); Railroad Rhythm (Billy Mayerl); Slow Train (Flanders/Swan); British Rail (Mervyn Horder);Canon Gloy (Hely-Hutchinson), This Train (Maw) Gordon Pullin (tenor), John Gough (piano) SOSSCD 369, can be obtained from Gordon Pullen at Treakles, Kettlebaston, Suffolk, 1P7 7QA, £10 inc. p&p 70:03 mins. Railways have inspired much music; most of it lightish, and this nicely recorded disc largely exemplifies that. Some items, like the Britten Midnight on the Great Western, Jeffry’sAmbulance Train and possibly the four settings of that charming poem Adlestrop, are relatively serious, but most of the others, including the two Betjeman ones (Metropolitan Railway and Diss),SkimbleshanksCalypso and British Rail, even Slow Train, despite its underlying sadness, are light-hearted. Mr. Pullin’s light tenor, with outstandingly good diction, makes the most of them. Four songs are by RFS member John Mc Lain: rounded, lyrical and grateful to the voice, they are in the ballad tradition. This Train is a Negro spiritual, brilliantly set by Nicholas Maw. John Gough’s lively accompaniments contribute much; of his two solos, Railroad Rhythm is admirably done and, although it obviously lacks the colour of the familiar orchestral version, it is interesting to hear Coronation Scot’s piano version. Philip L. Scowcroft

JANE FROMAN The Memorable Radio YearsAt The Candlelight Cafe, Stormy Weather, Lover, Just For Now, You Walk By, Rhode Island Is Famous For You, My Darling My Darling, Where Or When, I Get A Kick Out Of You, Again, But Where Are You, Buttons And Bows, Coffee In The Morning, Speak Your Heart, When I See An Elephant Fly, April In Paris, Speak Low, Orchids In The Moonlight, What’s The Use of Wonderin’, Papa Won’t You Dance With Me, They Can’t Take That Away From Me. Frank Bristow FBCDll3, 77:30 mins. Miss Froman will be best remembered for the 1952 film of her life, With A Song In My Heart starring Susan Hayward in the role of Froman, who sound tracked all her own songs with Hayward doing a marvellous job of lip-synching. This CD doesn’t include those songs, covering earlier radio years (1934-1949), and it is obvious that at the age of 27 the soprano wasn’t yet into popular music. This is more apparent in her duet with her then husband Don Ross (played by David Wayne in the movie), with whom Jane Froman had appeared in Ziegfeld Follies Of l934, onCoffee In The Morning (And Kisses In The Night). But her voice and style developed over the years, and by the time she did a duet with James Melton on Speak Low ten years later Jane Froman was in every way an ideal popular singer. What gives this collection a possible appeal to RFS readers is, firstly, the presence of Andre Kostelanetz and his Orchestra on What’s The Use Of Wonderin’ and, secondly, the fact that the first half of the CD is from a. 1948 radio series with Percy Faith and his Orchestra. It’s all good standard material with vocal and instrumental performances of equal quality, my only possible complaint being the incessant announcements and long-winded introduction that American comperes seem to delight in. Arthur Jackson

Frank Bristow’s CDs are only available direct from him in Australia: Frank Bristow, 2 Cross Street, Brighton, Victoria, 3186, AUSTRALIA – e-mail

RONNIE ALDRICH and his two pianos Liebestraum, The Story of a Starry Night, Till the End of Time, Story of Three Loves, etc.. Melodies from the Classics Pavane, Rondo alla Turca, Cavatina, Moment Musical 3, Gymnopedie 1, Badinerie, etc.Vocalion CDLK4230, 75:41 mins. Vocalion is doing Ronnie Aldrich fans proud, with a continuing flow of new reissues of his Decca albums. These two concentrate on light classics, and they fit nicely together on one CD. Aldrich fans (and there are many of them around the world) will eagerly snap this one up. David Ades

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Violin Concerto in G minor Op 80; Antonin Dvorak: Violin Concerto in A minor Op 53 Phillipe Graffin, violin. Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra/Michael Hankinson AVID AV0044 (obtainable through record dealers in the UK).Although Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (b. London 1875) is generally regarded as a quintessential Light Music composer, he belongs to a select group which includes Edward German, Haydn Wood and – as discussed in JIM 159 – Montague Phillips, all of whom embraced both ‘light’ and ‘serious’ works. A student of the RCM, where he was highly regarded by his composition teacher Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, and encouraged in his early career by Sir Edward Elgar – no less, he wrote a symphony, a good deal of chamber music and several cantatas. Amongst the latter, "Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast", first performed in 1898 under Stanford’s direction, enjoyed enormous popularity in its day, on a par with Handel’s "Messiah". The Violin Concerto dates from the last year of his tragically foreshortened life. It was written for the American violinist Maud Powell, who gave its first performance in June 1912; however, that event was very nearly scuppered when the orchestral parts were lost on the Titanic. Happily, Coleridge-Taylor managed to produce another set at the last minute, but failing health prevented him from journeying to the US for the premiere; he died from pneumonia brought on by overwork, having just achieved his 38th birthday in September 1912. The Concerto was subsequently given in London in the same year at the Queen’s Hall under Sir Henry Wood, but has only received a few performances since, and is here making its recording debut. Musically, it recalls the composer’s great hero, Antonin Dvorak; also at times Edvard Grieg, and in the rich use of the brass section, Coleridge-Taylor’s erstwhile mentor, Elgar. Those familiar with any of C-T’s compositions will immediately recognise the composer’s own distinctive ‘fingerprints’. It is our good fortune that more and more works of this kind are being rediscovered and recorded, and congratulations are due to the South African production team for making such an attractive piece available with this new release. Very appropriately, its coupling is the Dvorak Concerto, which was also given its first performance in the States by Maud Powell. Undoubtedly it never became as popular as some other contemporary violin concertos, eg those of Johannes Brahms or Max Bruch; perforce it has always had to play ‘second fiddle’ to its famous sibling – the Cello Concerto. A thoroughly enjoyable CD, warmly recommended. Tony Clayden

INTERMISSION IMPOSSIBLE 31 tracks featuring "Two-Way Stretch", "Cheyne Walk", "Let’s Skip", "See You Soon", "Traveller’s Joy", "Waltz In Jazztime", "These Foolish Things" amongst others (for full tracklisting please see the advertisement on page 23 of this issue). Here’s another CD living up to the excellence in sound quality we now come to expect from the compilations of Steven Wills, remastered by Lucy Reeve. This 31-track compilation from the Cavendish Library features the Big Band Sound of Ray Davies of "Button Down Brass" fame. Your mission is to play this CD and experience a variety of different tempos and styles covering Latin, Mexican, Dance Band, Big Band and Jazz. Each track has been carefully chosen to give a taste of this library which sounds as fresh today as it did way back in the late 1960’s. These tunes would fit into any of the daytime output of the late BBC Light Programme or the early BBC Radio 2 fayre of the 1970’s.  Remember Track 8? This was used as one of the themes from BBC Radio 2’s popular music quiz "Beat The Record" with Don Davis and Track 22 is a most endearing version of Jack Strachey’s "These Foolish Things" you ever did hear. If your mission is to listen to a quality big band CD, then this intermission is definitely not impossible! Malcolm Batchelor

FRANK D’RONE: Dear Frank – The Song Is You. I’ve Got The World on a String, The Song Is You, You Go To My Head, You Make Me Feel So Young, They Say It’s Wonderful, It Might As Well Be Spring, Moonlight Becomes You, I Only Have Eyes For You, It Happened In Monterey, I Concentrate On You, Lonesome Road, What’s New, The Girl Next Door, In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning (see below re availability). Frank Sinatra was godfather to Frank D’Rone’s son, but it was only recently that this tribute album was recorded, and what joy to find that not only has the singer’s voice lost none of its richness and accuracy of pitch, but that he still swings like the complete musician he is. Frank D’Rone came along just as the world of singers was giving way to the world of rock, and perhaps missed the big hits he deserved. However, those who, like me, remember and cherish his great recordings of the sixties and seventies, will be more than happy with this untypical collection of songs which Sinatra recorded – so untypical, in fact, that the list of titles alone doesn’t automatically make one think of him. D’Rone’s distinctive and impeccable phrasing brings something new to each track, yet, as in I Concentrate On You, in a way that I’m sure even Cole Porter would have approved, while arranger/ trumpeter/ fluegelhorn player Bob Perna’s driving group provides a backing that’s a constant treat to the ear. And those who remember Frank’s exceptional guitar skills will get a special kick from hearing him accompany himself on Wee Small Hours. Those who take the trouble to get a copy of this gem will not be disappointed. (This CD is available from Frank D’Rone at, or by mail to 1002 Briarcliffe Boulevard, Wheaton, Illinois, 60187, USA., for $15 plus postage). Pip Wedge

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