Friday, July 22, 2011

Frank Friday! Frank Sinatra: Come Dance With Me

Review #35
Artist: Frank Sinatra
Title: Come Dance With Me
Format: LP
Label: Capitol Records
Songs: 12

For pure fun Sinatra tunes, it's hard to beat Come Dance With Me. This is one of my favorite records to put on when I have people over for dinner. It's upbeat swinging Frank Sinatra in top form. There's not a bad performance on this record (although I'm not terribly fond of "Baubles, Bangles and Beads" as a piece of music), and while I personally am a fan of Frank's more melancholy numbers, this is a great record for entertaining guests because it stays up-tempo all the way through, slowing down only for it's closing tune, "The Last Dance."

The most interesting thing about this record is that it's a bit of a concept album. Most of the songs on the record are about (or at least mention) dancing. In addition to the title track and "The Last Dance" it features, among others, swinging renditions of "Dancing in the Dark," "I Could Have Danced All Night," and of course, "Cheek to Cheek." It's kind of a cool idea and somewhat ahead of it's time to connect the songs on the record thematically like this.

Sinatra's performance is spot on on this record. The man was in many ways in his prime when this recorded, and the vocals have that uniquely Frank-Sinatra-cool attitude that characterizes the best of his swing material. Backing him up are trumpeter Billy May and his orchestra, who collaborated with Sinatra on several other records, some which will appear later on this blog.  May and his band play good, solid swing, which should come as no surprise given that Billy May was part of Glenn Miller's band for a while and also worked with, among others, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, and Nat King Cole. Interestingly, along with other film and television work, Billy May also composed some of the music for the 1960s Batman television show.

This to me isn't Sinatra's most compelling record, but it's definitely one of his most fun.

Come dance with Frank Sinatra.

Total songs listened: 456

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