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Thread: Frank Sinatra : Album Of The Month Club #3 (Nov 2007) "It Might As Well Be Swing"

  1. #1
    Guest

    Frank Sinatra : Album Of The Month Club #3 (Nov 2007) "It Might As Well Be Swing"

    I'll be your guest host this month, taking over temporarily from Marty. Here's Marty's introduction from the inaugural post in this series:

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty View Post
    I've noticed that a lot of members often say that they feel, well maybe not intimidated, but not too sure of themselves to post within the Frank Sinatra sections of the forum, given the knowledge and experience of so many of the fine Sinatra experts and admirers that inhabit the forum.

    With this in mind, and also to get some further postings from longer term members who may want to add thoughts again, I personally thought it a good idea to suggest a Frank Sinatra album of the month for the next few months to get us all back in the swing of things, preferably LPs that will be familiar to most of us.
    "The swing of things" is a nice turn of phrase, and for a change of pace from the previous two selections, Marty has suggested the second LP collaboration between Frank and Splank:

    Sinatra • Basie : "It Might As Well Be Swing"

    Take a few moments to vist (or revisit) these up-tempo gems, arranged by Quincy Jones, and perhaps convey your impressions during this month of November.

  2. #2
    Guest
    For reference, the album thread in Frank's Recordings may be found here: It Might As Well Be Swing (1964).


  3. #3
    Love that album! ... see what I did there?
    When You're Here, It's Family
    www.reverbnation.com/Soundslikefrank/songs

  4. #4
    Guest

    GREAT ALBUM

    It is one of my "special favorites". Plus, there are so many great photos from these sessions printed in recent FS "coffee table" photo books. So one can have and pleasant audio and visual experience with this album.

    Frank is in great voice and the "Atomic" band swings beautifully. The addition of strings on several tracks is a nice change of pace, too.

    Hard to pick a favorite....but "Wives and Lovers " always seems to float to the top when I think of this album. Great intro and a fabulous "ring-a-ding" coda from Mr. S.

    Great choice, Robert!

  5. I made a back-to-back CD-R compilation of all the tracks from this LP and the first Basie album of October 1962. Using Adobe Audition I only had to use 2 tracks (128 are available) and created a "blend" where a song starts when the previous one ends, making for a kind of "radio-show" feel and non-stop Sinatra-Basie!

    In a sort of small tribute to Sid Mark at the beginning of this 80-minute compilation I started with an excerpt of the short FS spoken vocal from "Trilogy" in "The Future" portion when he says "Ladies and gentlemen, play for me...play for me". Immediately a small portion of "Born Happy" by Nelson Riddle from the Verve/MPS "Silver Collection" plays, about a minute and a half, then into the Sinatra-Basie tracks from both albums. After all the album tracks I inserted some tracks off the "Sands" album and I ended with "I Have Dreamed" seguing right into Henry Mancini's "In The Wee Small Hours" like Sid does. Really sounds great! All I need to complete it is a home-made cover and rear-inlay card "a-la Steph"!

    "It Might As Well Be Swing" is one of my favorite FS albums, the Quincy Jones arrangements are top-notch. It was also recorded the week I was born! My only wish is that it had 12 songs instead of 10. If I had to pick one track as my favorite it would have to be "More".

    Think I'll make more home-made "two-fer" compilations using Audition!
    Gonzalo Duque "Gonzo"
    1997 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC 4.6L Cobra V8

  6. #6
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by paulmock View Post
    Great choice, Robert!
    It was Marty's suggestion, although—as I flip over my Frank Sinatra 2007 Calendar to the month of November, bringing into view a great photo from the Sands with Basie in the foreground seated at the piano and FS behind him with mic in hand under a spotlight—it becomes a very timely and appropriate selection for this month.

  7. #7
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    It was Marty's suggestion, although—as I flip over my Frank Sinatra 2007 Calendar to the month of November, bringing into view a great photo from the Sands with Basie in the foreground seated at the piano and FS behind him with mic in hand under a spotlight—it becomes a very timely and appropriate selection for this month.
    Yup, I thought the same thing last night when I flipped my calendar and saw the "Sinatra @ the Sands" cover photo. I thought...time for a liitle "Sinatra-Vegas".

  8. #8

    Thumbs up It Might As Well Be Swing

    What an excellent choice for November's "Album Of The Month."

    It's one of my favorite Reprise albums. The album has a terrific group of swingin' songs arranged by Quincy Jones. I like them all... Fly Me To The Moon, The Best Is Yet To Come and Wives And Lovers are my top favorites.
    Allen
    "Could start for the corner... turn up in Spain... why try to change me now..."

  9. "I wanna be 'round to pick up the peices..." Excellent choice, Bob. I love it.

  10. #10
    Greg, Allen and Paul did it too; the signature three note/chord Basie tag ...
    When You're Here, It's Family
    www.reverbnation.com/Soundslikefrank/songs

  11. #11
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by George Lyons View Post
    Greg, Allen and Paul did it too; the signature three note/chord Basie tag ...
    George! I have been listening to (and luvin' the hell out of) the newly remastered "Basie @ Birdland" with a ton of additional tracks on it. So, I have alot of "..." in my blood right now. It's a fabulous CD!

  12. #12
    Very cool, Paul; I shall put some FS/Basie on right now as well!
    When You're Here, It's Family
    www.reverbnation.com/Soundslikefrank/songs

  13. #13
    Frank & Splank! You gotta love it!
    WNEW..Where The Melody Lingers On..

  14. #14
    "I Believe in You" kicks butt. But it's "Fly Me To The Moon" that makes the album. Interesting how one singer's interpretation changes the history of the song forever.

  15. << Interesting how one singer's interpretation changes the history of the song forever. >>

    FS sure had a way of doing just that!
    Gonzalo Duque "Gonzo"
    1997 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC 4.6L Cobra V8

  16. #16

    Sinatra- Basie : It Might As Well Be Swing

    Now its a funny thing but although I dearly like almost every song on this album, the album on the whole was and is a disappointment for me.

    We are talking about the second album collaboration of Frank Sinatra and Count Basie and I think one would expect here a carefully structured set of recordings that feature the superb singing and amazing jazz sound of one of the world's greatest jazz orchestras and instead what do we get?

    I tell you what, more about that in a minute, but first let's look at the first 1962 collaboration of these two giants, called simply Sinatra-Basie with Neal Hefti's excellent arrangements. Here we have an amazing collection of jazz and indeed Basie orientated instumentals on slightly extended tracks, all scored to sound as if they definitely belong on the same album and all showing off the talents of Frank's Jazz styled singing and Basie's great instrumental soloists.

    The tracks include some big standards, some of which had been long associated with Frank but all in a brand new and exciting dressing. Just listen to the superb and freshly innovative sounds of "Please Be Kind"; "I Won't Dance"; "Learnin' The Blues" "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter"; "I Only Have Eyes For You"; "My Kind of Girl" and of course "Pennies From Heaven" and the Basie influence inclear and apparent. If the album, in the final analysis was not all it could have been, then that may well have been down to some less than brilliant choices of material, but on the whole this is a Sinatra as we had never quite heard him previously, leaning in hard to a jazzy Basie sound.

    Now let's get back to "It Might As Well Be Swing" and gone for the most part are those longer instramental passages by the great Basie soloists. Instead we have more of a collection of great songs of the day, which I admit in themselves are beautifully scored but, for me, they somehow fail to all gel together as one great jazz inspired album. I cannot take anything at all away from the sheer greatness of the scoring and singing of the amazing "Fly Me To The Moon" which is a total classic in itself; and indeed I adore "I Wanna Be Around"; "The Best Is yet To Come"; "The Good Life" and even this funny and forgetable version of "Hello Dolly" but many of the tracks in my view do not have Frank at his vocal best for that particular period and some of the scoring, I think, could as well be for any contemporary collection of songs, as opposed to an album setting for the second meeting of these two giants of th music business. In other words... taken as a whole, I think that throughout this album a little bit more could well have been made of Frank and Basie's talents and the songs on the whole could perhaps have been showcased just that little bit better.

    Sinatra, however, must have agreed with my view because, some years later, for his next great jazz orientated venture, he returns right back to top form with eight beautifully elongated classic instrumental focussed recordings which he made with Duke Ellington.

    Jeffrey

  17. #17
    Jeffrey I couldn't agree more! While I always admired Quincy Jones' talents, but I think his arrangements on this album could have been for a studio band as much as Basie's band. Neal Hefti really captured the Basie sound with his arrangements on the first Sinatra/Basie album...Hefti had that Basie experience and knew how to showcase the soloists. Incidently, Billy May's arrangements on the Ellington album are supurb in that they sound like the Ellington band. What a talented arranger! Anyway back to this month's subect. I think that It Might as Well be Swing is a good album, but not Sinatra at his best or most inspired. It's like Basie and Sinatra didn't find their groove on this recording. But listen to these two together on the Sands album - good heavens, they're unstoppable!!

    I've always thought it would be interesting to combine "Count Basie Live at the Sands (Before Frank)" and "Sinatra at the Sands" into one cohesive file of music. If you don't have it, the Basie at the Sands album is really strong and was recorded when the tape was rolling for the recording of the Sinatra at the Sands album.
    Jeff

  18. #18
    If the album that contained "Fly Me To The Moon", "The Best Is Yet To Come", "The Good Life", "More" and "I Wish You Love" is not one of Sinatra's BEST or most inspired I don't know what is.

  19. #19

    A wonderful Cd

    I do believe it has Blue Moon in it. These two men are so great together!
    LEATRICE (LEE) Fort Myers, Florida, USA
    Sinatra, Sinatra,Sinatra! Pray for Robin!

  20. #20
    Guest
    Lee it doesn't have "Blue Moon" on it.

    I do love the songs "I Believe In You" and "More" - And of course "Fly Me To The Moon" and "The Best Is Yet To Come"

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