The Sinatra Project, Vol. II: The Good Life
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Now, with The Sinatra Project, Volume II: The Good Life, Feinstein has found another inventive way in. "The second volume is really about Sinatra and his friends," says Feinstein. "It's about the people he influenced and who influenced him. The focus is more on the 1960s. The album includes a few songs Sinatra never sang, which was intentional because I wanted to encapsulate that era and show that, though he was still very important, music and styles were changing. It was the ushering in of a new sensibility, and yet the 1960s was still a time when rich, standards-type songs like `For Once In My Life' were still being created alongside newer pop elements like rock and roll."
Close to a dozen superstars, many of whom Sinatra counted as close friends and also deeply admired as artists, influenced Feinstein's song selections and his stylistic choices, including Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peggy Lee, Rosemary Clooney, Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Ann-Margret, Duke Ellington, Fred Astaire, Nancy Wilson and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Again Feinstein combines familiar and comparatively obscure material, creating a 12-track playlist that extends from such signature Sinatra tunes as "Luck Be a Lady" and "The Lady Is a Tramp" to the extremely rare "C'est Comme Ça," co-written by Ellington and Marshall Barer for the 1966 Broadway flop Pousse Café (a musical adaptation of the 1930 Joseph von Sternberg film The Blue Angel, starring Marlene Dietrich).
In addition to producing the album, working with Feinstein on all the arrangements and orchestrations and conducting the 30-member orchestra, Elliott plays piano on eight of the dozen tracks. The album's core group also includes guitarist Jim Fox, bassist Kirk Smith, drummer Albie Berk and percussionist Bernie Dresel. Asked if it is difficult to work with another pianist when he is so accustomed to accompanying himself, Feinstein responds, "Not at all... It is fun to work with someone else because it spurs me to sing the songs a little differently." Feinstein does, however, accompany himself on four tracks, two--"The Good Life" and "Sway"--with the full orchestra and two--"C'est Comme Ça" and "I'll Be Around"--with just Smith and violinist Sid Page. As for the album's subtitle, Feinstein says he chose "The Good Life" because "it reflects the '60s, when Sinatra had gotten to a point in his life where he became iconic in a way that was different from the '50s. He really came into his own. And it was also a good time. "The Good Life" is a song from the mid-'60s and people were in many ways, if perhaps illusionary, living a good life."
Digital Booklet: The Sinatra Project, Vol. II: The Good Life
Digital Booklet: The Sinatra Project, Vol. II: The Good Life
Top Customer Reviews
and He Sure Knows His Way Around Any Song
He just A Pretty Good Music Man/I Listened To The CD
Quite A Few Times And I Have Noticed That He Is More
comfortable When He Is Playing Piano and Singing/but
when he Sings With The Full Orchestra he seems to be
working much harder/Perhaps He Should be singing and
playing The Piano with The Orchestra and Then He
Might Be In Control as He Should be/If You Listen to
Diane Schuur Sing Her Version Of the Very Thought Of You/
She's Playing The Piano With A Full Concert Orchestration
and in Complete Control///They Call This Album The SINATRA
PROJECT Vol-11 The Good Life//But 5 of the songs
Frank Never Recorded/1-Thirteen Woman-2-Sway-
3-C'est Comme Ca-4-Once In A Lifetime and the fifth song/
5-Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby The Louis Jordan Hit
Sinatra only sang it on the Hit Parade in The 40's//
With So many Great Songs that Frank has Sung They Could
have done a Better Job Of Picking Sinatra Songs/P.S
His Rendition Of THE GOOD LIFE is Super and his reading
of the Lyric comes From The Heart/I'm Waiting For Someone
to record an album of 16 songs That I Wished Sinatra Would
have Recorded Songs Like Penthouse Serenade and other
Stanley Cooper Jupiter Florida
As expected, I had high expectations for Vol. II, but sadly, it doesn't quite match, never mind outdo, its predecessor.
Might be a combination of factors, including song choices and vocal delivery. While this CD features many more pieces I'm familiar with compared to the Vol. I list, I just felt that something was lacking. And a few of the slower songs suffered from forced huskiness in Michael's tone. Could be the wrong register for him, or he may be developing a new performance habit. Either way, please stop!
That said, I give this 3.5 stars, and really enjoy the big band tracks which are beautifully arranged ( and on which Michael sings normally ). The ballads, however, don't appeal to me as much - definitely prefer his earlier work from Isn't It Romantic and The MGM Album.
If you are wondering why Michael Feinstein included a few non-Sinatra songs in an album that's meant to showcase songs that are identified with the famous Chairman of The Board, you are not alone. I myself wondered why until I read the Press Release from Concord Records website, which is also on Amazon's Editorial page. The above quote addresses this issue.
Three years after the successful release of Grammy-nominated The Sinatra Project, Michael Feinstein is reunited with Bill Elliott and came up with a follow-up album called "The Sinatra Project, Vol. II: The Good Life" in 2011. It is another terrific collaboration between Feinstein, Ambassador of The Great American Songbook and four-time Grammy nominee, and Elliott, producer/arranger/pianist/orchestrator who writes chart arrangements in the tradition of Nelson Riddle, Claus Ogerman and Billy May. Mr. Elliott is also the arranger/conductor at one time or another for the L.A. Philharmonic, New York Pops and Boston Pops Orchestra.
The repertoire includes dazzling, upbeat swing numbers that he delivers in their truest forms--the way they should be interpreted. These impressive tracks are "Once In A Lifetime," "Sway" and "Luck Be A Lady"/"All I Need Is A Girl." But what captivated my ears the most is the delicate charm of "The Way You Look Tonight.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A typical Michael Feinstein performance, smooth and well sung but did Sinatra sing all those songs?Published 4 months ago by Rex F. Shields
After watching Michael Feinstein in concert on Netflix and purchasing that DVD from Amazon, we decided to get the CD also. Read morePublished on May 17, 2014 by Ginny Pokoj
I loved this CD.
If you enjoy listening to Michael feinstein and enjoy the music of Sinatra, you will enjoy this CD
The mixing is better in this DVD than in the other two, but still Michael's voice is too muted in a few of the songs.Published on August 29, 2013 by Kelly Levy CA
Just what I expected and am enjoying the music. What could
be greater than the Sinatra song presentations done by Mike. Thanks
We saw Michael Feinstein in Palm Springs and loved his show!!! We adore Sinatra's music and arrangements and Michael does a great job singing the hits...... Read morePublished on May 2, 2013 by Vickie Lacks