Frank Stallone with the Billy May Big Band: Frankie & Billy (2002)
This album was recorded in 1992, but never released nationally. Some of the participants are no longer with us and Billy May hasn't been active for a few years. Bob Cooper, listed on sax for example, passed away in 1993 and Conte Candoli last year. The hiatus between recording and release dates notwithstanding, Stallone gives another credible performance aided and abetted considerably by the May's band loaded with top West Coast section and studio players. Like a tough tenor, Stallone is a tough baritone with a powerful set of pipes that he applies effectively to a play list of 10 familiar pieces with great charts constructed by the inimitable May. The big voiced singer shows his considerable spurs on a swinging "Exactly Like You" and a tender ballad version of "Baby Won't You Please Come Home". Stallone uses some of the same mannerisms (and some songs) associated with Sinatra with the huts and heys. But so what. The result is still a highly entertaining session of vocalizing. The big downer, however, is that the CD offers a scant 24 minutes of music. The CD is over before the listener really has had a chance to settle in. The other problem is that the order of songs as listed in the liner notes is different from the order they appear on the CD. Somewhat disconcerting, but not fatal.
Visit the singer at www.frankstallone.com.
Track Listing: I Can't Believe; Close Your Eyes; I Got a Right to Sing the Blues; Saturday Night; Exactly Like You; By the River St. Marie; Gee Baby Ain't I Good to You; I Didn't Know What Time It Was; Baby Won't You Please Come Home; Long Ago and Far Away
Personnel: Frank Stallone - Vocals/Producer; Billy May - Conductor/Arranger; Tommy Newsom, John Bambridge, Bob Cooper, Pete Christlieb, Don Ashworth - Sax; Conte Candoli, Pete Candoli, Rick Baptist, Warren Luening - Trumpet; Lloyd Ulyate, Dick Nash, Charlie Loper - Trombone Jim Self - Bass Trombone/Tuba; Pete Jolly -Piano; Bob Bain - Guitar; Chuck Berghofer - Bass; Alvin Stoller - Drums
Record Label: Simba Records