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June 10, 2011

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J. Carmo

Thanks so much for alerting us to the Ring A Ding Ding reissue! I have the Greatest Love Songs CD and one of my favorite tracks is "In the Still of the Night." I've been looking at vinyl copies of Ring A Ding on eBay, but I think I'll throw my pennies to the Concord CD instead. L-O-V-E your website. -Jerri

mel house

Great piece on the new Ring-a Ding-Ding release featuring the best singer ever and my favorite arranger. Can't wait to get my copy!

Mel

Bruce Armstrong

This has been my all-time favorite recording of Sinatra's since I first bought the LP in the 1960s. At the very first playing the sax section caught my attention: Was that Bud Shank or the great Joe Maini on lead? Johnny Mandel's great charts were a huge "positive." I always wondered why he never had the opportunity to write for FS again? "You And the Night And The Music" remains my favorite, but all selections were really super-solid.

Bill Kirchner

The lead alto player is Joe Maini. Johnny told me that he hired as many players from the Terry Gibbs band as he could.

As for why Mandel never did another album with Sinatra, my own guess (and I've never asked Johnny about this) is that his charts, as superb as they are, are just a little outside of Sinatra's comfort zone. I tongue-in-cheek call "Ring-a-Ding-Ding" the "Sinatra bebop album". Unlike Nelson Riddle and Billy May, Mandel was a product of the bebop generation, and his rhythmic orientation and choice of soloists reflects that.

It's a subtle difference in this case--Johnny is too conscientious a craftsman to write anything inappropriate for a singer--but my guess is that it was all just a bit too hip for Sinatra, who was a product of the Swing Era and its conventions.

Ed Leimbacher

I read the opening sentences of comment #4 and sat up, thinking, "Bill's back! Has to be..." Authoritative, cleanly written, always pertinent and informative, strong in his opinions, anecdotal when it suits, casually rich with acquired professorial wisdom and, often, wry wit.

When Kirchner speaks (or writes), whether on stage, in radio station, on printed page, or in person (presumably; haven't had the pleasure), the hip fan pays heed. You want Mandel and Sinatra? All right... As the Zydeco guys might shout it, "Faite 'tention!"

Frederick

Thanks for providing us Johnny Mandel's arrangement of In the Still of the Night to listen to here on your sight. Ah, now that is real music. Thank you, I always enjoy coming to your site. I always learn something new - Frederick Sallaz

Vince Rojas

Frank's phrasing and Johnny Mandel's arrangements it doesn't any better than this.
The bonus tracks alone are worth the price of of the album. Thank you Concord for re-mastering.

Ian Carey

A fave of mine as well. (Thanks to Bill for tipping me off about this record in college!) I only wish Sinatra had recorded with Mandel slightly earlier in his career when he was a little less... theatrical.

Ed Etkins

Most likely Frank Rosolino on the trombone solo. The lead trumpet is outstanding.

Martin

Does anybody know the personnel? Who's in the rhythm section?

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  • Marc Myers writes frequently on music and the arts for the Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (University of California Press). In 2012, JazzWax was named the Jazz Journalists Association's "Blog of the Year."

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