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Francis A. & Edward K.

Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, duke Ellington Frank SinatraAudio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)


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Audio CD, Import, 2011 $19.05  
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise
  • ASIN: B000002K9R
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,839 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Follow Me
2. Sunny
3. All I Need Is The Girl
4. Indian Summer
5. I Like The Sunrise
6. Yellow Days
7. Poor Butterfly
8. Come Back To Me

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Recorded on Sinatra's birthday in 1967, this collaboration between America's most popular singing icon and pre-eminent jazz composer still endures as one of Sinatra's most enjoyable Reprise-era albums. The Ellington Orchestra stretches out in style, with the five-man horn section (including trumpeter Cootie Williams and saxophonist Johnny Hodges) expertly counterpointing the Chairman's assured vocalizations on "All I Need Is the Girl," "Follow Me" and Ellington's "I Like the Sunrise." Bobby Hebb's "Sunny" works surprisingly well (Sinatra sounds as if he's singing it to Frank Jr.), and "Indian Summer" is heart-stoppingly lovely. Francis A. & Edward K offers ample proof that, provided with properly challenging material, Sinatra could still astound and amaze. Sadly, the record sold poorly, presaging a move towards poppier pastures. --Dan Epstein

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant and Timeless March 2, 2002
Format:Audio CD
One of Sinatra's very best efforts. As great as some of the Capital swingers are, they are clearly dated to the time period in which they were recorded, whereas this album has a timeless quality. This is also true of his collaborations with Count Basie and Antonio Carlos Jobim, but as fine as those recordings are, they aren't as elegant sounding as this record.
The recordings are tasteful and restrained throughout, except for the overly frentic "Come back to me" that closes the record. The opening cut "Follow me", is majestic. "Sunny" is given a blues treatment, complete with a "growl" trumpet, and the arrangement elevates an otherwise mediocre composition to grandeur. "Indian Summer" is one of the most beautiful songs Sinatra ever recorded. The elegant simplicity of "I like the sunrise" is timeless. "Yellow days" and "Poor buterfly" are perfectly executed.
Sinatra was in fine voice and the orchestra, though restrained, played with sensitiviy and good taste - especially the soloists. There are only eight cuts, but the band stretches out, and the solos are stunning and fully realized, instead of the little snippets on the 2 to 3 minute cuts on his other albums that leave you begging for more. Only "Come back to me" misfires - The arrangement is too fast and doesn't fit in with the album's sound, although the lyrics are fantastic.
It's too bad this album so underrated and overlooked, because, frankly, it puts his other, more popular swingers like "Come Swing With Me", "Sinatra and Swinging Brass", and "Sinatra Swings", to shame.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "What?--No Satin Doll?" February 10, 2002
Format:Audio CD
The Sinatra-Ellington album (coyly entitled "Francis A & Edward K," which might actually have hurt sales) was puzzling for two reasons: it contains only 8 songs and there's only one Ellington tune contained--the hymnal "I Like The Sunrise."
The album would have seemed a perfect opportunity for Sinatra to explore some Ellington classics which he had never recorded--"Sophisticated Lady" "Satin Doll" and "Solitude" come immediately to mind..Sinatra echews these and other titles in favor, for example, of Bobby Hebb's innocuous 60's hit "Sunny". I know that Sinatra was never a fan of the songbook concept, as Ella was, for example, but in this case he was working with the composer.
Word has it there were problems at the sessions...The Ellington band did not rehearse the charts ahead of time and the musicians could not sight read (as Basie's sidemen could)so arranger Billy May had to call in a few ringers to get the sessions completed--pianist Jimmy Jones actually fills in for the Duke a few times.
"Francis A & Edward K" has its moments, though-- Johnny Hodges' brilliant solo on "Indian Summer" and Sinatra's incredible performance of "Poor Butterly" which finds him singing the song in full three times and doing it differently each time out.
The most dissapointing thing about "Francis A and Edward K" is thinking about what it might have been.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a Swingin' Summit Meeting October 1, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Yes it's hard to believe that the swinging Ellington Band and the best vocalist around can't connect and make sparks happen in the studio. The great Billy May wrote Ellington-like arrangments to really mediocre songs of the day. Not only were the songs mediocre the Ellington band didn't take the time to learn the arrangments and play them ala Ellington. The bands soloists are outstanding as usual; listen to Hodges on "Indian Summer", but the band just isn't "in the groove" to make the singer a swinger. Sinatra recorded with the band in the studio in real time and the great indifference to the arrangemets and the recording effect him in a personal way. His pitch is off as well as his great phrasing-listen to "Come Back to Me". Maybe the Chairman and the Duke should have done an Ellington Songbook album with Duke writing the arrangements. Maybe then the musical Summit Meeting would have been a truly swingin' event.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This album almost seems like an orphan.Here we have a collaboration between the best singer,and top jazzman,and it seems (almost) no one wants it! I actually prefer this to the two studio records of Frank and Count Basie.All these tunes,with the exception, of "Come Back to Me" are middle tempos,and many have a touch of sad melancholy. Which may be my reason for liking some of these cuts so much. My two favorites are "I Like the Sunrise",a haunting bit of melancholy optimism. I think Frank's somewhat craggy vocal here,and on the rest of the album,is a fine fit.And there is poetry in these lyrics: "I like the sunrise 'cause it brings a new day. I like a new day.It brings new hope, they say" and "my brand new bright tomorrow isn't very far". The arrangement here is great,though it seems that on occasion one of the players is stretching a high note."Poor Butterfly" based on a Japanese classical melody (I think) has never been done better,and has a bouncier feel but more sad lyrics. "Yellows Days", the same."All I Need is the Girl" has a loopy feel which makes it all the better. And these songs are not overdone by every aspiring Sinatra or Ella. Even Frank has never done them before, except possibly during the very early years. All in all, a rough gem,but still a gem,offering still more to the Frank oeuvre.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Ellington and Sinatra Together
This recording is terrific! Giants Together! Those who know Mr. Ellington's Band, will recognize Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope, Lawrence Brown, Sam Woodyard, Cat Anderson,... Read more
Published 4 months ago by John D. Beam
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I am young man at the ripe age of 21, who for the past two years have really taken to Frank Sinatra. Read more
Published 10 months ago by TreuBleu
5.0 out of 5 stars what is there to complain about?
this disc is worth its weight in gold, just to hear Yellow Days......surely one of the best numbers ever sung. Let down by Come back to Me...a dreadful piece. Read more
Published 10 months ago by A. Youdan
5.0 out of 5 stars Super!
Frank Sinatra come back here in this beautiful album with Duke Ellington on piano!!! fantastic sound, relax for your mind, your thoughts fly away.
Published 16 months ago by Massimo Manfredini
5.0 out of 5 stars Mysteriously Little-Known Jewel of an Album
A great collaboration that includes the vastly under-exposed and brilliant tune, "All I Need Is the Girl. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Marinite
5.0 out of 5 stars classic collaboration between a great singer and a great band
There are some reviewers here who complain that neither Frank nor Duke really swing on this session, that they sound indifferent, the band didn't know the material, Duke wasn't at... Read more
Published on December 31, 2011 by jsa
5.0 out of 5 stars Sinatra, Ellington, and Horns
Technically great, this album includes many fond memories for me from my late 20's, back in the late 1960s. Read more
Published on November 18, 2011 by John Wilmerding
5.0 out of 5 stars Sinatra, Ellington, and Horns
Technically great, this album includes many fond memories for me from my late 20's, back in the late 1960s. Read more
Published on November 18, 2011 by John Wilmerding
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
How can one of the greatest musicians in jazz and one of the best vocalists in history ever create a really boring record is something one cannot figure out, but there you got the... Read more
Published on February 24, 2011 by Fafner
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but flawed
I think the best thing about this album is the Billy May arrangements. Sinatra is not in great voice - listen to the flat clunker he hits at the end of "Come Back to Me"... Read more
Published on September 18, 2001
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