Frankie Laine: Jazz Spectacular - JazzWax

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December 15, 2008

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mrebks

Tony Bennett yesterday and now Frankie Laine today? (do i detect a man on a mission?) Swing groups led by Clayton could work magic with anyone. so chacun a son gout, but i vote for Benedetto the Energizer, still ticking, still going, as evidenced by the new Xmas CD with Basie Band and others--fine even if not essential Tony, unlike that great, so-called Live album on Columbia of Bennett and Basie dating from the late Fifties (which means pre-dating the splendid Live at Carnegie Hall of 1962 or so)...

Michael Steinman

How nice to read this -- when I was collecting 78s, a passion I no longer indulge in, I would often notice some of Laine's early Mercury sides because they had trumpet solos (cited on the label) by Buck Clayton or Mannie Klein: Laine obviously had a deep feeling for jazz well before this Columbia session. And, like all of the Columbia jazz sessions of this period, it has a huge lovely sound, courtesy of intelligent engineering and their 30th Street Studios. It's a pity that so many people no longer know who Laine is or, if they do, they associate him with round-'em-up-move-'em-out cowboy songs. His "crying" is often a bit excessive for me, but he had a real pulse. On a moderately relevant note, I once read a piece in the New York Times by Nat Hentoff (I think) who said that he thought Dean Martin should have made a record with a small jazz group -- Joe Thomas on trumpet and Vic Dickenson on trombone were the leaders of the imaginary ensemble. I can hear this in my head, and it would have been a great idea.

Keep it up, Marc: smart music and smart words! Michael

Michael

How nice to read this -- when I was collecting 78s, a passion I no longer indulge in, I would often notice some of Laines early Mercury sides because they had trumpet solos (cited on the label) by Buck Clayton or Mannie Klein: Laine obviously had a deep feeling for jazz well before this Columbia session. And, like all of the Columbia jazz sessions of this period, it has a huge lovely sound, courtesy of intelligent engineering and their 30th Street Studios. Its a pity that so many people no longer know who Laine is or, if they do, they associate him with round-em-up-move-em-out cowboy songs. His crying is often a bit excessive for me, but he had a real pulse. On a moderately relevant note, I once read a piece in the New York Times by Nat Hentoff (I think) who said that he thought Dean Martin should have made a record with a small jazz group -- Joe Thomas on trumpet and Vic Dickenson on trombone were the leaders of the imaginary ensemble. I can hear this in my head, and it would have been a great idea.

Keep it up, Marc: smart music and smart words! Michael

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of a Song" (Grove) and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a two-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association's best blog award.
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