A stylish songstress from the swank era!
Mark Savary | Seattle, WA | 11/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Up until a week or so ago, I had never heard of Keely Smith (or Louis Prima). I bought this disc on a whim, which sometimes I'll do should I have a few spare bucks. Rather than be a compulsive shopper, I can usually resist a whim that tells me to buy something. I didn't listen this time, because the CD looked interesting, and I knew many of the songs. Now I find myself wondering why I never noticed Keely Smith before!One of my fellow reviewers compares her effortless style with Dean Martin. I have to agree upon several listens that Keely does indeed have a slightly Dino-like quality with her easygoing phrasing. This shouldn't be surprising, since apparently Keely and her husband were big in Vegas around the time the Rat Packers were in swingin', swank style there. However, while her style seems effortless, Keely can also pack a lot of power into a song ("When Your Lover Has Gone" comes to mind).I like the arrangements, too. There's some cool changes in tempo from slow to swingin' and back again ("It's Magic", "Stardust"). Others quietly support in the background, peeking out only when called for ("Mr. Wonderful", "I'll Never Smile Again").This is a top ten collection on my list. Twenty cuts that cover Keely's Capitol catalog fairly well, clear-as-a-bell processing, and all at a decent price.If like me, you haven't heard of Keely before, you'll want to grab this album to start with. I for one am glad I listened to that whim which got me to buy the disc. If you pick this one up, I think you'll be glad, too!"
Very Nice Capitol Spotlight Series with Keely's Top Effort.
S. Henkels | Devon, Pa United States | 01/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The entire Capitol SPOTLIGHT SERIES is among the finest reissues of the recent past. Every one I've heard has some great 1950's-early 60's recordings that may not always have been the artists' best known. That is especially true of the Dean Martin, Bobby Darin, Margaret Whiting, and Keely Smith releases. Keely's was my first purchase, and still my favorite. Sure, all the songs are tried and true, but she sings crystal clear, every note perfect. Every song is outstanding. My favorites are swing versions of THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER YOU, and DONT TAKE YOUR LOVE FROM ME. Another one I'LL GET BY is a neglected gem sounding perfect here too. Plus the arrangers are all top, including Nelson Riddle and Billy May, who famously worked with Nat Cole and Mr. Sinatra himself...BTW, Keely's very recent tribute to Frank shows she's still going strong, sounding as fine as ever, even at 70 or so. One more thing, you can find two Keely- Frank duets on Frank's sensational COME DANCE WITH ME, recorded way back in 1958!"
Great jazz standards sung by Keely...
S. Henkels | 06/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Keely Smith is backed by two of the finest jazz vocal arrangers, Billy May and Nelson Riddle on this compilation CD. Since Capital Records won't re-issue her two classic 50's LP's "Swingin' Pretty" and "Politely." Not to mention the generally excellent LP "I Wish You Love." We are forced to settle with this hophodge collection, until they do get around to re-issueing all of her classic Capital sessions. I would recommend searching second hand record shops and junk shops to find the three titles metioned above on LP, if even just for the great record covers, not to mentio nthe excellent music. Last of all go see Keely next time she plays through you're town she's still an excellen singer I got to see her live during her tour for her new CD "Swing, Swing, Swing" and she was better then ever. Also I can't wait for her next project to be released "Keely Sings Sinatra""