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Frank Sinatra
Sinatra’s Swingin’ Session!!!,  Capitol CD C2-46573, 1987 (1961)

 Hot Sinatra

Swaggerin’ finger snappin’ Frank Sinatra was at his hippest best on  Sinatra’s Swingin’ Session!!!. Long thought to be The Chairman of the Board’s finest album, Capitol Records has finally seen fit to re-release it, along with several others, in homage to the man they call the "Entertainer of the Century." One listen to just this album and anyone would be hard pressed to refute such a lofty designation.

Backed by Nelson Riddle’s Orchestra, and supplied with superbly written tunes by such songsmiths as Rodgers and Hart, Irving Berlin, and Cole Porter, Sinatra’s interpretations are purely classic and indicative of his talent. Supple nuances, such as those that color Berlin’s "Always," reside in nearly every tune, whether swinging or gently swaying. His take on the popular 1956 Fats Domino hit, "My Blue Heaven"–recorded, as with all of the album’s 12 original songs (Capitol has included 3 additional tracks for this edition), over a ten-day period in August and September 1960–easily puts to rest whatever claims the "Fatman" (or anyone else) may have with the tune. Sinatra’s cool, self-assured demeanor on the song, coupled with a fabulously understated arrangement, shows perfectly well that not all the cool cats sang rock and roll. Standouts are many. Whether it’s the smoky-sultry "Blue Moon," Porter’s hip "I Concentrate On You," or the irresistible charm of "September In The Rain," nary a misstep can be heard. Sinatra tap danced his way through a melody like no other.

Sinatra’s vocal prowess faded as the 1950s led into the 60s, replaced by a more knowing, experienced spin. Yet  Sinatra’s Swingin’ Session!!! captures the man in full swing, just as rock and roll was swiping his airplay and Elvis was capturing his throne. Classy, brassy and full of sass, Sinatra showed America that he could turn the volume up without sacrifice, that the nation’s teens did not necessarily corner the market on what was hip. He didn’t have to swivel his hips or snarl his lip. He only had to sing. In that, Sinatra was the hippest hep-cat of them all.– Tom Netherland

 Glenn Brooks says... I have to respectfully differ with Tom on whether this is Sinatra’s finest. It’s certainly his hottest album, but for pure swing I would go with "Songs for Swinging Lovers," and for Frankie at his most artfully touching, "Close to You." Of course, there are plenty of reasonable choices!

production notes

Frank Sinatra, vocals; Nelson Riddle, conductor and arranger. Produced by David Cavanaugh.

song titles

When You’re Smiling • Blue Moon • S’posin’ • It All Depends on You • It’s Only a Paper Moon • My Blue Heaven • Should I? • September in the Rain • Always • I Can’t Believe That You’re in Love With Me • I Concentrate on You • You Do Something to Me • Sentimental Baby • Hidden Persuassion • Ol’ Mac Donald

Copyright © 1999 Peppercorn Press. All rights reserved.