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Complete Sinatra-Basie Reprise CD, Enregistrement original remasterisé, Import
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(2011/CONCORD) 20 titres de 1962 à 1964 avec livret de 16 pages. Remastered - une qualité sonore incroyable!
Pennies From Heaven
Please Be Kind
(Love Is)The Tender Trap
Looking At The World Thru Rose Colored Glasse
My Kind Of Girl
I Only Have Eyes For You
Nice Work If You Can Get It
Learnin' The Blues
I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A L
I Won't Dance
Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words)
I Wish You Love
I Believe In You
More (Theme From Mondo Cane)
I Can't Stop Loving You
I Wanna Be Around
The Best Is Yet To Come
The Good Life
Wives And Lovers
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Tous les fidèles sont là : Thad Jones (tp), Marshall Royal (tb), Frank Foster (saxes), Frank Wess (fl, saxes), l'inamovible et irremplaçable Freddie Green (g), Sonny Payne (dm), Harry "Sweets" Edison (tp) ...
Le tout accompagné d'un beau livret, en français & anglais, photos en noir & blanc, interviews ... Superbe ! Vite, cliquez donc sur votre panier, une édition qui va vite devenir collector, vous savez ce qu'il vous reste à faire ?.... Tapez du pied, danser, chanter (ah, quelle voix, quel swing ...), de quoi se réveiller de bonne humeur pour la journée !...
1."Pennies from Heaven" (Arthur Johnston, Johnny Burke) - 3:29
2."Please Be Kind" (Saul Chaplin, Sammy Cahn) - 2:43
3."(Love Is) The Tender Trap" (Cahn, Jimmy Van Heusen) - 2:37
4."Looking at the World Through Rose Colored Glasses" (Jimmy Steiger, Tommy Malie) - 2:32
5."My Kind of Girl" (Leslie Bricusse) - 4:37
6."I Only Have Eyes for You" (Harry Warren, Al Dubin) - 3:31
7."Nice Work If You Can Get It" (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) - 2:37
8."Learnin' the Blues" (Dolores Vicki Silvers) - 4:25
9."I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter" (Fred Ahlert, Joe Young) - 2:36
10."I Won't Dance" (Jerome Kern, Jimmy McHugh, Oscar Hammerstein II, Dorothy Fields, Otto Harbach) - 4:07
11."Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words)" (Bart Howard) - 2:30
12."I Wish You Love" (Léo Chauliac, Charles Trenet, Albert Beach) - 2:56
13."I Believe in You" (Frank Loesser) - 2:21
14."More (Theme from Mondo Cane)" (Riz Ortolani, Nino Oliviero, Marcello Ciorciolini, Norman Newell) - 3:05
15."I Can't Stop Loving You" (Don Gibson) - 3:00
16."Hello, Dolly!" (Jerry Herman) - 2:45
17."I Wanna Be Around" (Johnny Mercer, Sadie Vimmerstedt) - 2:25
18."The Best Is Yet to Come" (Cy Coleman, Carolyn Leigh) - 3:10
19."The Good Life" (Sacha Distel, Jack Reardon) - 3:10
20."Wives and Lovers" (Burt Bacharach, Hal David) - 2:50
Limpide par tout, Romatique e Erotique, Exotique, Bouger sans vouloir, Ecuter sans peine
Du "pure" crooning....Le parfaite ensemble!
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What makes this collection great is not only his voice, but the arrangements. I can't think of another album that accentuated his persona of that era. His voice was stronger, had a deeper range and was more commanding than the Capital years. He was well past those "only the lonely" years and was full of vigor in the early 60's. Frank was at the top of his game then, with the Rat Pack, the movies, Vegas and Reprise in full swing. I can't imagine any serious Sinatra fan not having this in their collection.
"Frank Sinatra - Count Basie: The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings" is a remastered compilation of two of the most interesting Sinatra records in his vast catalog -- "Sinatra-Basie: An Historic Musical First" and "It Might as Well Be Swing" are artfully rendered into a single 20 track masterpiece that pays tribute to the too brief and truly historic union of Frank out in front of Count Basie and his amazing band.
Remastering these recordings was a bit worrisome to me because they were laid down so well in the original Reprise album releases. After spending several hours listening to and comparing this new release with the original albums, I need not have worried -- the folks at Concord, BluWave Audio and the sundry engineers involved in this effort absolutely nailed it!
A Masterful Remaster...
One of the principle areas I focus on when reviewing a digital remastered album is ... "can I discern a quality difference". In other words, can you actually hear and appreciate the end product of the remastering effort. I mean, what's the point of remastering if you can't hear a noticeable quality benefit. The team that took on Sinatra and Basie's best were truly masterful.
There is a subtle, noticeable and beneficial "rounding" of Frank's vocals. To be clear, the original recordings are in no way deficient -- in fact they are excellent -- but Frank's entries, exits and tonal quality on this edition experiences a definite depth of field enhancement. Again, it is subtle but Sinatra's amazing vocal stylings on these classic Basie Band recordings sound deep and round without ANY dissociative effects. There is no sense that the vocals have been over enhanced or "punched up" in a way ... no notion that they stand apart from the music. The vocal/music integration remains beautifully interlaced.
The audio engineering Jedi mastering really hits home with Basie's music. Like the vocals, the original albums were laid down really well, so making improvements must have been a challenge, but the engineers rose to that challenge and hit the music tracks out of the park. The original sound stage (instrument positioning) was excellent but gets even more positional clarity with enhancements to virtually every instrument in Basie's band. Maybe the biggest positive impact is with Basie's piano which now arrives naturally clear and more forward by just the right amount. Additional big benefits are heard in the sax, the bass and the flute ... the entries and exits on the sax are clear, round and beautiful and you can damn near hear the bassist fingers on the strings. The songs with that lilting flute ... wow. All natural and crisp in the mid tones and absolutely no mud on the low end.
The bottom line is "Sinatra & Basie's The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings" album is definitely worth snaring -- even if you already own the full Sinatra-Basie collection. The discernible quality difference translates into an enhanced listening experience that I think is well worth the asking price. (Check out my full review on the Vocalstandards site)
The 2nd studio session (originally, "It Might As well Be Swing") has some inferior fare (e.g. "Hello, Dolly!", "I Can't Stop Loving You" mixed with a few winners (e.g. "Fly Me to the Moon," "The Good Life"). The arrangements, all by Quincy Jones, are competent mainstream swing charts "enhanced" by a gratuitous full-sized string session--not especially memorable or uniquely Basie-ish--but they're all fail-safe charts tailor-made for the elevation that only an authentic jazz swingster like Sinatra can bring to them. Admittedly, Sinatra may be in slightly better voice on the 2nd session, exhibiting more confident yet daring phrasing on this sequel session. He certainly leaves no doubt about his credentials as a "jazz singer." Simply put, Frank could swing harder than Buddy Rich, whom he preferred NOT to work with after the Dorsey days). One caveat (or asset, as you choose): on both the first studio album with Basie and the live album from the Sands (not included here) his voice is admittedly a tad rough (these were clearly recorded during the height of his "rat-pack" days, with no assurances that he got all of the necessary rest and took his vitamins before the sessions).
Since the first album is what made me a life-long admirer of Sinatra the musician, I can't fault it because of the rougher edge in Sinatra's voice. In fact, previous to this one I had only one Sinatra album in my collection--"The Voice," from his Columbia days, when there was no question that he had one of the most beautiful voices ever heard in popular singing. Yet the public generally ignores his Columbia period (hundreds of his recordings--some bel canto and others operatic--are in the Columbia 1940s catalog) in favor of his later Capitol, then Reprise periods.
It's worth noting that perhaps Basie's outstanding soloist (at least since Lester Young), Eddie Lockjaw Davis, was not with the band for either of these two sessions. The more non-descript tenor of Eric Dixon gets most of the solos. For the later Sands date, on the other hand, Jaws is in the sax section and heard to good advantage. I'm glad I have the 3 Basie sessions that were issued during Frank's lifetime on separate CDs. These days the big record companies are unwilling to spend much on jazz and "classic" American popular music, instead piecing it out, cutting and pasting, and coming up with all sorts of repackaging that can only do the actual circumstances of the original recordings harm. Both of the sessions are from Frank's 3rd and final period, following the termination of his contract with Capitol and starting with his own label on Reprise.
It would have made more sense to have expanded this single volume to two discs with the title: "Musical Royalty: The Chair Meets the Count and the Duke," which would have permitted inclusion of the 3rd Basie session plus the only session Frank made with Duke Ellington. But what do I know? In any case, listeners definitely should know that since Sinatra's passing all sorts of material featuring him live, in concert, backed by the Count Basie orchestra, has come to light. One striking example is the box set, "Sinatra-Vegas," which features the Master Storyteller in rare form on 4 previously unpublished recordings of Sinatra in concert from the early '60s to the early '80s plus a video performance on DVD.
[Addendum: regarding the earlier comment on drummers, Sinatra usually insisted on Irv Cottler for that critical position, but on the Basie dates, the drummer is Sonny Payne, who was once quoted as saying: "Sinatra's the only singer who could make me swing." Nuff said.]
Yet what was or is the point of this release? The two studio albums as of this writing are currently in print around the world, though you would probably save a few bucks with this disc. Concord and Frank Sinatra Enterprises offer no special extras for loyal Sinatra fans, and the audio quality is average.
So for longtime Sinatra fans, skip this one, as you're just wasting your money. But if you're new to Sinatra and Basie, by all means grab it, and you'll find what we've been talking about!