Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Days of Wine and Roses, Moon River and Other Academy Award Winners
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Frank Sinatra and conductor/arranger Nelson Riddle teamed up in 1964 to record this collection of Oscar-winning songs from the previous three decades. While hardly groundbreaking, the results are extremely enjoyable. "Swin... more »
Frank Sinatra and conductor/arranger Nelson Riddle teamed up in 1964 to record this collection of Oscar-winning songs from the previous three decades. While hardly groundbreaking, the results are extremely enjoyable. "Swinging On a Star" sounds as if it were written specifically for Sinatra, while "Days of Wine and Roses," "Moon River," "It Might as Well Be Spring," and "Secret Love" are also well worth the price of admission. Though it probably isn't the place to start your Sinatra collection, the album will certainly make a swell soundtrack for your next cocktail party. --Dan Epstein
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Remembering Frank Sinatra On His 90th Birth Anniversary
Rebecca*rhapsodyinblue* | CA USA | 12/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On this day of December 12th ninety years ago, a baby boy was born to become the Entertainer-of-the-Century, the most-loved singer of all-time, the greatest singer ever lived and the most prolific interpreter of Great American Songbook. He left lasting impressions on each and every song he sung, making them his own and leaving the magic of his voice glued to every listener's ears. And I'm proud to say that I'm one of those listeners who caught the magic of his voice and his style of singing, I would say "The Sinatra Charisma."
My first exposure to his music was when I was growing up and constantly hearing from my late parents' collection of Sinatra's LP records. So his music is not new to me when I started my very own ever-growing collection. I have reviewed a number of his CDs and realized that I haven't written one for this recording of Academy Award winning songs, which is one of his greatest albums of all-time. Of course, its greatness was magnified not only by the legendary singer's superb interpretations but also by the simple fact that it was Nelson Riddle who arranged and conducted this awesome recording.
What do Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Dorothy Fields, Johnny Mercer, Henry Mancini, Hoagy Carmichael, Sammy Cahn, Jim Van Heusen have in common? They were all great and each of them had made a name in the field of composing and songwriting. Likewise, they all have the much-coveted "Academy Awards Winning Songs" to add to their impressive credentials. And these winners are compiled in this CD starting off with two of my all-time favorites from Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini "Days Of Wine And Roses" (1962), and "Moon River" (1961).
The most enchanting tracks include a swing version of "The Way You Look Tonight" theme song from the 1936 movie "Swing Time." It's an achingly beautiful ditty that brings back a lot of fond memories to me. (Sigh). This song was composed by Jerome Kern and the lyrics were penned by Dorothy Fields.
"With each word your tenderness grows
Tearing my fears apart
And that laugh that wrinkles your nose
Touches my foolish heart."
One of the winners is "All The Way" (1957), my number one favorite song penned by the most eloquent songwriter America ever produced and Mr. Sinatra's very favorite lyricist, Sammy Cahn, and its music was composed by Jim Van Heusen. What a gem of a song - simply put, a sheer beauty.
The rest of the winners are "It Might As Well Be Spring" (State Fair, 1945), "The Continental" (Gay Divorcee, 1934), "Secret Love" (Calamity Jane, 1953) and "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing," from the 1955 movie of the same title.
What makes this CD a real winner? Frank Sinatra's superb singing, Nelson Riddle's sublime arrangements and orchestration and the Academy Award winning songs. It deserves a special spot in your music library.
Better than the movies.
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 04/23/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This collection, released as "Academy Award Winners" as well as "Days of Wine and Roses," is valued by most Sinatra fans for one reason only: Sinatra's singularly swinging treatment of "Just the Way You Look Tonight." As satisfying as that performance is, the other interpretations, despite what some critics have said, are practically on a level with the Jerome Kern classic. Sinatra's the only singer I can think of who sensed, as do practically all jazz instrumentalists, that the best way to do "Days of Wine and Roses" is up-tempo. And to compare his version of "Moon River" to Andy Williams' hit version, or of a popular period piece like "Love is a Many Splendored Thing" to the hit record by The Four Aces, is to come closer to the secret of Sinatra's greatness. Neither version is simply a soaring melody transporting us to some never never land. Sinatra finds the moments of poetry and drama in the material, bringing it to life in a way that is authentically personal and unmistakably real. The only misjudgement, and a minor one, is the ballad-like treatment of "Secret Love." Granted, the song works fine that way when addressed to the heavens by the innocent voice of Doris Day. But here's where Sinatra and Riddle should again have followed the lead of jazz instrumentalists and gone with a straightahead swinging arrangement. Had they done so, there would have been not one but at least two singularly swinging reasons for owning this album."
Am I too critical? Compare This Effort with Frank's Best....
S. Henkels | Devon, Pa United States | 12/04/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"...And then there is no contest!!! First off,his singing here is rough for some reason.The definitive "Way You Look Tonight" Okay,but that is mainly because of Mr. Riddle's glorious arrangement.Frank has a rough moment hitting the word "heart",though most of this tune does meet his normal remarkable standard."Days of Wine and Roses" has a very similar sound,a good cut but one you won't want to replay too much."All the Way" is well done here the second time around with less brass,more strings.Nice job,but the original is the one to hear. "Swingin on a Star"? Some sharp reviewers hear give it raves. IMHO, Bing's mellow humor,and generally silly arrangement fit this to a T. After all,this is a kid's song.Sorry, but Bing does outdo Frank on this one,and Bing recorded this twenty years earlier! "Secret Love" is really a wasted effort,and some of the others just don't do it for me. Actually,when I moved some time back,this is the only Frank CD that I kept in storage with the usual rock stuff that will remain there...Hey.I'm a Frank diehard,People who meet me probably think I'm crazy about Frank,and my response is always."No one can touch him!" (especially when any rock names come up)...But one has to be "true to your code",so I'll give this one a three,and a weak one at that. My comments on other Frank records may really be useful to the beginner,since I only give five stars to his very best,which is a heck of a lot!! Make this one maybe your 25th Frank CD purchase."