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Frank Lamphere: Ain't Love a Kick: The Unforgettable Songs of Sammy Cahn (2002)

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Frank Lamphere: Ain't Love a Kick: The Unforgettable Songs of Sammy Cahn No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

One of the most prolific and successful lyric writers in the history of American popular song was Sammy Cahn. His career, like Gaul, can be divided into two parts. The first was that eminently thriving collaboration with Jule Styne which produced one hit after another including "Time After Time", "The Things We Did Last Summer" and "I've Heard That Song Before". The second major partnership by the New York lyricist was with the inestimable Jimmy Van Heusen. This merger was forged by Frank Sinatra to provide a menu of tunes for his "maturing" voice which it did with such winners as "The Tender Trap", "Come Fly with Me" and "Only the Lonely". Lamphere on this album has chosen to focus on, but not completely so, on Cahn's second artistic period and that probably is because his vocal style was influenced by Ole Blue Eyes. This is apparent on "My Kind of Town", one of Sinatra's most recognizable hits and a song that was entirely his. The arrangement for this tune also highlights that this album is not just another ordinary, run of the mill tribute to a top American song writer. Johnny Gabor's Hammond B3 and Frank Portolese's tightly strung, highly amped guitar make this the funkiest/grooviest arrangement of this tune I've ever heard. It's a blast. Perhaps Sinatra might have done a double take, but he would sure have enjoyed it. But Lamphere doesn't ignore the romantic Cahn with a touching version of "The Things We Did Last Summer" where Gabor switches to the piano and Mike Jeffers' brushed cymbals provide a special rhythmic setting. Not every track is devoted to a Cahn biggie. Lamphere does a cute but sassy "Everybody Has the Right to be Wrong" which was a Peggy Lee vehicle.

Lamphere's collaborators on this endeavor use arrangement that make the group sound much larger than it is. Gabor's piano sometimes takes on the accouterments of a highly skilled society pianist al la Carmen Cavallaro on "All My Tomorrows". But for the most part, he stays the course. This CD is a fine production and is recommended. Lamphere's web site, http://frank.lamphere.com, is still under construction.

Track Listing: Ain't That a Kick in the Head; Everybody Has the Right to Be Wrong; The Second Time Around; Please Be Kind; I'll Only Miss Her When I Think of Her; Day By Day; Star; All My Tomorrows; Time after Time; Until the Real Thing Comes Along; My Kind of Town; The Things We Did Last Summer; Be My Love

Personnel: Frank Lamphere - Vocals; Johnny Gabor - Piano/Hammond B3; Frank Portolese - Guitar; Nick Schneider - Bass; Mike Jeffers - Drums/Percussion

Record Label: Late Nite

Style: Vocal


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