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Frank Sinatra’s “Sing And Dance With Frank Sinatra” Reviewed

It shouldn’t be this difficult to review an album, but figuring out Frank Sinatra’s 6th album, 1950’s Sing And Dance With Frank Sinatra, was a nightmare. The problem isn’t getting hold of Frank’s version of these perennial dance tracks, it is getting hold of THESE VERSIONS of the songs, arranged by conductor  George Siravo during an April 1950 recording session. It isn’t on any streaming service and it isn’t available for digital purchase. The youtube version is a baffling mish mosh and I finally found a copy on amazon.com from Sony who actually manufacture to order (I know) but guess what? It is a 1996 re-release with 18 songs instead of the original 8, and I can live with that, I just made a smaller playlist. So here we go.

Sing And Dance was a reaction to a downsizing of Frank Sinatra’s pop audience which had dwindled since he went solo. Take a look:

The Voice of Frank Sinatra
Released: March 4, 1946
Label: Columbia
1 —

Songs by Sinatra
Released: April, 1947
Label: Columbia
2 —

Christmas Songs by Sinatra
Released: 1948
Label: Columbia
72 —

Frankly Sentimental
Released: June 20, 1949
Label: Columbia
— —

Dedicated to You
Released: March, 1950
Label: Columbia
— —

In plain English, his last two albums hadn’t charted at all, and so out went Alex Stordahl and in came George Siravo, out went Frankie as da Bing, in came Tommy Dorsey’s side kick, and in came swing all the time: dance songs aplenty like “The Continental  -where you get to kiss while you dance. This isn’t the uninspired Dedicated To You, it didn’t chart as well but it is a strong collection of songs and Frank sings them with an easygoing charm that keeps em moving on song after song. In 2017, we would be demanding a remix album because it is built for dance except we get a little short changed on the instrumental portion Dorsey sold us. At a brisk 21 minutes in length, you wait forever till the break on “You Do Something To Me,” lets the big guns out,  this is big band but with the charm of a trio, you can imagine it without the horns. “Lover” starts at a gallop, sex and dance with an oomph, “It’s Only A Paper Moon,” “My Blue House” -all well within Frank’s wheelhouse, and he takes them with becoming ease, he doesn’t strain, he just smoothes and moves on. As mentioned, Sinatra wasn’t selling and this was the time when he turned his sights West, so this album would have worked perfect to sell at the Sahara for Sinatra and his Vegas goombahs.

While not a hit, Sinatra’s final Columbia album was the starting point for his 1954 return to recording on Capitol in 1954 with Songs For Young Lovers and especially Swing Easy -both of those albums went to # 3. From 1954 to 1958 is the heart and the essence of the Frank Sinatra legend but despite the change in record labels and a four year break,  the real growth occurred as Sinatra stepped back into dance right here in 1950.

Grade: A-

1 Comments

  1. Paul Marinaro on December 10, 2020 at 10:33 pm

    I enjoyed your review of Sinatra’s “Sing and Dance” album. I’m listening to the brand new audiophile reissue by Impex Records right now and it’s sonically magnificent considering these tapes are now 70 years old. They went back into the vaults and did a meticulous reissue using the original tapes. The original 8 track album comprises side A, while Side B has some really interesting bonus tracks and outtakes. Check it out.

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