The Essential Frank Sinatra with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra

Frank Sinatra & Tommy Dorsey

The Essential Frank Sinatra with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra

(Bluebird/RCA/Legacy)

First Appeared in The Music Box, November 2005, Volume 12, #11

Written by John Metzger

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Harry James knew that he had landed someone extraordinary when he signed Frank Sinatra to a contract and began recording with him in July 1939. Nevertheless, James graciously voided their agreement just a few months later so that the then 24-year-old singer could join Tommy Dorsey’s better-known ensemble, where he become a star. Indeed, the brief, 2 ½-year partnership between Sinatra and Dorsey produced 20 Top Ten hits — I’ll Never Smile Again, Dolores, How About You?, Star Dust, and Trade Winds, among them — which was an amazing feat considering not only that they were competing with the likes of Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Jimmy Dorsey, and Artie Shaw, but also that Sinatra’s career was merely getting underway. Not surprisingly, much of this era of his work has been repackaged countless times in a wide array of formats that range from numerous single-album offerings to the exhaustive five-disc collection The Song Is You. In essence, the latest compilation The Essential Frank Sinatra with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra is a tighter rendition of the similarly titled three-CD set Frank Sinatra & the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, which was issued in 1998, and as such, it should supplant, in the eyes of most fans, all of the duo’s other outings. For starters, embedded within the effort’s 44 tracks are all but two of the collaborations by Sinatra and Dorsey that hit the Top Ten — Two in Love and It Started All Over Again are noticeably absent — and even the less familiar cuts are mesmerizing and magical. Although he was still quite young, Sinatra’s vocal prowess already was very much intact, and time and again, as the band settled into its lilting and lovely arrangements, he effortlessly applied his charismatic croon with veritable precision, joining the instrumentalists in a graceful and gorgeous dance that remains both charming and timeless. starstarstarstar

The Essential Frank Sinatra with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
is available from Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!

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Ratings

1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!

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Copyright © 2005 The Music Box