14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Yes,this one does seem underrated.Take it from me,if you like bouncy,brassy arrangements of really good tunes,this is tough to top. In fact,I think this far surpasses "Ring A Ding" ,and even the Basie collaborations.Why?? Simple. Here are seven all time great Frank efforts on one disc. All right,the ballads here are border line second rate,but who wants to hear them anyway,when you have such amazing smashers!! "Imagination",once it gets going,is the first to get under your skin.Catch the whimsy in the entire number,not uncommon in Frank,but mostly a vanishing act in pop(rock) music from 1960-2001. And he really belts out "East of the Sun",practically shouting the lyrics on the second finale. "Without a Song" is far superior to the original ballad with Dorsey,but then again,that's true with every song here.Along with "The Song is You" (not included here,but on the the even better "Come Dance With Me"),it's lyrics summarize the vocal career of the world's all time popular singer!!I'll be Seeing You" is simply stupendous,and will knock off more than your socks! I never heard "It's Always You",until I played this CD. Talk about a great marriage between melody and lyrics."If a breeze caresses me,It's really you strolling by.If I hear a melody,it's really the way you sigh." And more. A hidden gem! "Polka Dots" at first hearing may seem a little silly,but sounds better each time (even the corny story). And "The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else" with the brassiest brass ever,plus the bantoring between Frank and Sy Oliver ("boo hoo"). 40 years old and still going strong. Strongly recommended for any college frat men reading this.Yes,I wish I had heard this CD(then 33rpm) back in my college days! Just a whale of a good time!!!
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
I Remember Tommy is a fine Frank Sinatra album that almost all of his fans should have in their collections. The quality of the sound is excellent and the artwork is really nice. Frank's voice is in excellent form--although, then again, Frank's voice was always in excellent form!
The CD starts so well with Frank Sinatra singing a very sensitive rendition of "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You." "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" gets a slower tempo than I'm used to--but it enhances the natural beauty of this romantic, nostalgic tune that will forever remain one of the great ones. Frank handles subtle tempo changes like the pro he always was and the strings sound great with the rest of the musical accompaniment.
"Imagination" features Frank Sinatra squarely in the spotlight--which is quite naturally right where he belongs! Frank massages the lyrics to this song and when he delves into it the end result is a sublime interpretation of this ballad. I predict that you'll enjoy "Imagination" if you haven't heard this tune before; it's definitely a major highlight of this album. "East Of The Sun (And West Of The Moon)" gets a fine treatment from Frank and the band; they sing and play this tune without a flaw and when Frank sings this you know you're listening to a great master! This is truly one of the best tributes to Tommy Dorsey I've ever had the pleasure of hearing.
"Without A Song" continues the hits as Frank swings and sways gently to make this number shine brighter than silver and gold! The big band style arrangement bolsters Frank's singing performance and it all works very well. I'm impressed! In addition, there's also the charming tune entitled "I'll Be Seeing You." I always loved this tune and when Frank Sinatra sings it with the band it really brings out the nostalgic, sentimental qualities of this ballad.
Moreover, Frank Sinatra also does "It's Always You" with panache; and "Polka Dots And Moonbeams" is another major highlight of this album. This tender love song about a love that blossoms moves me with its beauty; and it tugs at my heartstrings as well. Great!
"The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else" again showcases the incredible qualities of Frank Sinatra's voice; and he sings this out like the champ he always was and still remains! This number swings gently to make it a fantastic hit and I really like "The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else." The CD also gives us a bonus track entitled the reprise of "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You;" this ballad seems to have some subtle changes to the first version we heard on the opening track--but, in any case, changes or not, it makes a great number that you just can't get enough of even if it were an exact copy!
Frank Sinatra does a superlative job on this tribute to the great Tommy Dorsey. I highly recommend this for Sinatra fans, fans of Tommy Dorsey and the big band era; and people who like the "oldies" will be charmed by this album as well.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2004
Of the eight reviews prior to mine, about half think this 1961 release is superb, and the rest agree with me that it does not quite equal his best. I'd say there are at least 10-15 of Frank's original albums which satisfy the fan more, but "I Remember Tommy" would rank somewhere between 15th and 20th on the list. As to why it did not achieve the rapport with fans Sinatra hoped for, my guess is that the record buyers interested in Frank's work on Reprise, his own label, in the first year of John Kennedy's presidency were looking forward, and not in a nostalgic mood. Frank put out this record, with songs 20-30 years old, and arrangements in the style of two decades earlier, at a moment in American life when JFK had us interested in outer space, "The New Frontier". Nothing wrong with his singing, or the band assembled by Sy Oliver...but some of the songs chosen by Frank and Sy were not really top rank. Also, the album as a whole is mid-tempo: the swinging tracks are not particularly bold or forceful, and the ballads are not reflective of real pain. It's all pleasant, and I'm glad I own it, and I will play it every once in a while...but not as often as "Come Swing With Me" or "Sinatra with Swingin' Brass" or "In the Wee Small Hours" or "Only the Lonely." I have not heard the original Sinatra/Dorsey recordings, which are now available on CD, but a couple of prior reviewers think those work better than this tribute to Tommy does. I suspect they are correct, but back in '61, those old 78's were not available in the LP format, and Frank's idea of the Dorsey material resurrection was not a bad one for those fans who recalled the old days.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 1999
First, let me make a confession: I am not a Frank Sinatra fan. Now before you send me any hate mail, I will say that I admire and respect him and believe that he was probably the greatest pop singer since sound recordings were introduced. (Let's not get into a comparison with Enrico Caruso.) I am just not a fan. When I buy a Sinatra CD, I am really looking at what was the band backing him up. In this case, one of the best band arrangers of all time, Sy Oliver, wrote these charts and conducted the band. Both Oliver and Sinatra were with Tommy Dorsey at the same time, Oliver arriving first in mid-1939 and leaving last, being drafted in 1943. The selections here were all tunes that Dorsey had recorded, although not always big hits for him. Oliver, however, creates fresh arrangements for them. The one which harks back most directly to Dorsey's version is "East of the Sun" with the band instrumentally playing the counter-points which the Dorsey band sung. That arrangement also slips in a nod to Glenn Miller with its series of false endings. By now, everyone knows how Sinatra acknowledged the influence Dorsey had on him in such things as phrasing and breathing. In this album, both of these great Dorsey alumni pay a well deserved tribute to their mentor.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The concept was sincere--a tribute to Dorsey that would reinterpret the originals but be grounded in the orchestrations of the original arranger--Sy Oliver. The result is sort of jazzed up, speeded up versions that don't match the original recordings, as though everyone knows this is a nostalgia album so let's not be overly imitative. Far better if Sinatra and company had simply "re-visioned" the material, starting with fresh arrangements by the best available orchestrators, viz. Riddle, Jenkins, Mandel, May. This album doesn't build to a sense of exhilaration as do Sinatra's best. It's nice but uninvolving. The reprise of the first song at the end reenforces the sense of a somewhat pointless journey.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2010
I have them all but never got this one. Totally great, best Sinatra album ever with the 1961 updated versions of "Imagination," "East of the Sun," "I'll be Seeing You," and my newest favorite Sinatra song, "Polka Dots and Moonbeams," are all on it. Every song a gem..."Getting Sentimental," "It started all Over Again," etc. If you want one Sinatra album (CD), this is it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 1998
One of Franks early Reprise efforts. He thought at the time that it would be a huge seller but in fact it lost over 100,000 dollars. However his loss is now our gain because he created yet another classic. It's got it all, Sinatra in great vocal form, Great tunes, and tremendous arrangements by the legendary Sy Oliver. Listen to the punchy brass rendition of "I'll be Seeing You", much in contrast to Frank's earlier Ballad version on "Point Of No Return". Another Gem is "East of the Sun & West of the Moon" in which Frank repeats the chorus several times and each time adding something fresh and different. At times the listener may feel that some of the horn parts on the ballads could've been better served by strings, but it's probably because our ears are more accustomed to hearing Sinatra's voice accompanied in the string fashion. It's a must have for Sinatra fans.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 1999
Some numbers soar, but this album has its lesser tracks as well. Sy Oliver rearranged many of the Sinatra-Dorsey numbers in a tribute to the "Sentimental Gentleman" (?) of swing, their former boss. Some of the retro tracks -- especially "Take Me" don't translate well to Sinatra's swinging, bold vocal poise of the early 1960's, but others -- "I'll Be Seeing You" -- benefit nicely. Did a lot of people listen to "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" in 1961?
"Imagination" loses its subtlety but remains a rapturous song (still, buy the original Dorsey-Sinatra version on RCA if you can find it -- wow!). Oliver and Sinatra have fun with "The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else."
Sinatra's voice is marvelous, although he strains on "Daybreak." Still an entertaining album, even if it is a mixed blessing.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 1999
Sinatra cared so much about this album he recorded it twice. After listening to the original sessions, he decided the keys were wrong and did everything over. This is a beautiful, heartfelt album (it's too bad the deleted song "In The Blue of Evening" wasn't included) but the timing on its release was out of synch and it couldn't find an audience. It has stood the test of time and is a beautiful listening experience still.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2011
Have attended Sinatra Concerts five times, have been a fan for a lifetime, own extensive collection of his works. While I have more than one favorite, this album is one of which you will find yourself playing over and over again. Arranged and conducted by Sy Oliver it features many of the original Tommy Dorsey numbers re-arranged with an upbeat tempo. Originally produced on record at 33 and 1/3 speed, I wore out two copies. Enjoy!!!!