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Sinatra Sings Great Songs From Great Britain [LP]
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All the world's great arrangers -- most of whom got to work with Frank Sinatra (the rest wish they had)-- are (or were) American. A notable exception: Canadian-born Robert Farnon. At last report, Bob was still alive and well, and living at "La Falaise" on the Channel Island of Guernsey (a letter with only that address can reach him). Now 85, he still makes the occasional foray into London to do what he's always done best.
Andre Previn, told the late, great lyricist Johnny Mercer that "Robert Farnon is the greatest living string arranger in the world." The great ones who admit to Farnon's influence have included Nelson Riddle, Don Costa, Quincy Jones, Marty Paich, Neil Hefti, Torrie Zito and Johnny Mandel (just to name the best who worked with Frank Sinatra), plus, (among those who didn't, but wished they had) Henry Mancini, Roger Kellaway, John ("Star Wars") Williams, Patrick Williams and Jeremy Lubbock
Great popular singers who share that opinion, include Sarah Vaughn and Tony Bennett. The list of musicians who feel the same way is too long, but start with pianists Herbie Hancock, Oscar Peterson and George Shearing.Read more ›
The dramatic acappella opening to 'The Very Thought of You' states the theme -- stately and romantic -- British, basically (!) The middle of the album, 'Gypsy', 'Roses of Picardy' and 'Nightingale', comprises some of the more heartfelt material from Sinatra's early Reprise era. The vulnerability in the usually powerful voice could not have shown up in a more fortunate group of songs.
I also question whether Sinatra was truly on his last legs. 'Garden in the Rain' displays the same remarkable breath control that enabled him to sustain long notes in a way that made his phrasing so natural. Sinatra may not have been at his vocal peak -- or anywhere near it -- but every time I listen to 'Great Songs from Great Britain' I'm left with the sense that Sinatra at 40 percent was like other singers at 80 percent.
Among the Reprise albums, I would highly recommend this one. The material is right up Sinatra's alley (tasteful, and of lasting value) and Farnon's arrangements seem more akin to Nelson Riddle's than to Gordon Jenkins' sometimes-too-heavy strings. All brilliant, but Farnon never lays the violins on too thick.
Why this album has not been remastered and re-released eludes me. Sound quality is fine for 1962, however, and interested listeners would be well served to find a used copy in the meantime.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If this is Frank with a "tired" voice then all I've got to say is I wish every singer was similarly tired. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Scorpio69
And some people, nowadays think that this superb quality music, already over half a century old
is not "in". Read more
NEVER HEARD THIS ONE BEFORE NOW, AND WAS AMAZED BUT WHY SHOULD I HAVE BEEN IT WAS SINARTA FULLY VESTED IN THIS ONE .....Published 6 months ago by Joe Rustenhaven
Even on a bad day, Frank Sinatra shines. This is a lovely LP, somewhere between the autumnal feel of "The Turning Point" and the lush romanticism of "Sinatra &... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Ricardo Mio
A recording I have chased for years.Not Franks best but some wonderful songs from my Homeland.Published 10 months ago by Douglas M. Overman
Sinatra lives!! Although Frank left us 17 years ago his music will last forever. Great Songs from Great Britain is a collection of Sinatra songs with some connection to Great... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Carole Resnick