Acrobat Music

Learnin' The Blues - The Jazz Stars Play The Sinatra Songbook

Various Artists
Styles: Jazz
Catalogue Number: ADDCD3270
Twenty years after his death, Frank Sinatra continues to generate controversy. Whether it concerns his tempestuous love life or ongoing allegations of organised crime connections, both press and public alike still can't get enough of his larger than life character. Alongside these extra-musical fascinations, at the very heart of Sinatra's unrivalled vocal art there lays another, equally engrossing controversy, a “was he or wasn't he?” argument that underscored the vocalists career almost from day one and which now, nearly eighty years since his voice was first heard on record, still has no definitive answer. The question remains – was Sinatra a jazz singer? DownBeat poll wins, a headlining appearance at the prestigious Newport Jazz Festival, high-profile recorded collaborations with two of the music’s regal megastars – Duke Ellington and Count Basie – and arguably the finest ever big band and crooner album ever – 1956's Songs For Swingin' Lovers - argue yes, he was. And yet the jury is still out. “Ask him to scat and the result is laughable,” wrote one jazz critic. “Given a blues, he has more limitations than many.” Where the pro- and anti- camps agree is that jazz singer or not Sinatra himself inspired a legion of other figures within the idiom, not just fellow vocalists but all kinds of instrumentalists. In the latter category, sound-innovators such as John Coltrane, Stan Getz, Lester Young and Miles Davis all considered him their touchstone, Davis famously stating “I learned how to phrase by listening to Frank, his concept of phrasing.” Players like Davis and Coltrane has grown up in the Swing Era, and during the 1950s they drew increasingly on songs remembered from those years, many of which Sinatra had first immortalised on disc. In addition to this, the singers innovative move into the realms of mood-capturing “concept” albums began to inform their work (hear Coltrane's Ballads). And in the steady supply of new quality popular songs written for Sinatra by the likes of Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen these jazzmen had a fresh source of highly improvisational-friendly material. This new compilation collates twenty-three appropriations of the Sinatra Songbook, performed by some of the finest names from the Golden Age of jazz, transforming such hits as Learnin' The Blues, All The Way, The Tender Trap, One For My Baby and Witchcraft into instrumental classics. Packaged with a fascinating booklet essay by award-winning saxophonist and writer Simon Spillett, the result is an album that fans of Sinatra, vintage jazz and high-class popular songs will find equally engrossing.

Disk 1:
Track Title Artist
1 The Lady Is A Tramp The Gerry Mulligan Sextet
2 Lean Baby Illinois Jacquet
3 Learnin' The Blues Freddie Green
4 Witchcraft Bill Evans Trio
5 This Love Of Mine Sonny Rollins Quartet
6 You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me Harry 'Sweets' Edison
7 The Tender Trap Paul Quinichette/Charlie Rouse
8 Makin' Whoopee Red Garland Trio
9 I've Got You Under My Skin J. J. Johnson
10 Nancy (With The Laughing Face) John Coltrane Quartet
11 S'posin' Miles Davis Quintet
12 Angel Eyes Bill Perkins
13 Just One Of Those Things Max Roach plus Four
Disk 2:
Track Title Artist
1 In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers
2 South Of The Border Lou Donaldson
3 All The Way Lee Morgan
4 Nevertheless Richie Kamuca Quartet
5 All Or Nothing At All Wayne Shorter
6 I'm A Fool To Want You Art Farmer Quartet
7 The House I Live In Sonny Rollins
8 Don't Worry 'Bout Me Russ Freeman Trio
9 I Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry Dexter Gordon
10 I Thought About You Miles Davis
11 I See Your Face Before Me John Coltrane
12 One For My Baby Wes Montgomery
©2008 Acrobat Music