Album Details

September 06, 2011
Vocal Music, Big Band, Vocal Pop, Traditional Pop, Vocal Jazz

Album Review

The long-awaited collaboration between two icons, Count Basie and Frank Sinatra, did something unique for the reputations of both. For Basie, the Sinatra connection inaugurated a period in the '60s when his band was more popular and better known than it ever was, even in the big-band era. For Sinatra, Basie meant liberation, producing perhaps the loosest, rhythmically free singing of his career. Propelled by the irresistible drums of Sonny Payne, Sinatra careens up to and around the tunes, reacting jauntily to the beat and encouraging Payne to swing even harder, which was exactly the way to interact with the Basie rhythm machine -- using his exquisite timing flawlessly. Also, the members of the Basie band play a more prominent role than usual on these two Sinatra records (originally released as Sinatra-Basie and It Might as Well Be Swing), with soloists like Frank Wess -- in some of the finest flute work of his life -- and tenors Frank Foster and Eric Dixon getting prominent solo opportunities on several of the tracks. The music was criticized by some as a letdown when it came out, probably because the charts of Neal Hefti and Quincy Jones rarely permit the band to roar, concentrating on use of subtlety and space. Yet its restraint has worn very well over the long haul. It doesn't beat you into submission, and the treatment of these standards is wonderfully playful.
Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Pennies from Heaven
  2. Please Be Kind
  3. (Love Is) The Tender Trap
  4. Looking at the World Through Rose Colored Glasses
  5. My Kind of Girl
  6. I Only Have Eyes for You
  7. Nice Work If You Can Get It
  8. Learnin' the Blues
  9. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down (And Write Myself a Letter)
  10. I Won't Dance
  11. Fly Me to the Moon
  12. I Wish You Love
  13. I Believe in You
  14. More (Theme from Mondo Cane)
  15. I Can't Stop Loving You
  16. Hello, Dolly!
  17. I Wanna Be Around
  18. The Best Is Yet to Come
  19. The Good Life
  20. Wives and Lovers
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