Gary Smulyan: High Noon: The Jazz Soul of Frankie Laine (2008)
On Smulyan's album, "High Noon" is hardly recognizable. While the ten songs come from a broad spectrum of Laine's career, each has been rearranged by Mark Masters to fit a nonet akin to that found on Miles Davis' The Birth of the Cool (Capitol, 1949), with similar instrumentation, a pervading blues quality and soulful soloing. Here, "High Noon"'s theme dances in and out of dense harmony and "gunfight" choruses traded between French horn and trombone, and alto sax and trumpet. On bass clarinet, Scott Robinson's lengthy intro clears the main street of town while Smulyan closes the piece with one big booming chorus after another.
Laine wrote the lyrics for "A Man Ain't Supposed to Cry," "Torchin'" and "We'll Be Together Again," all which come with heavy blues overtones. Smulyan's horn sings like the original, his nonet providing plenty of jazz atmosphere, affixing a balance to the eclectic quality of Laine's emotional Italian-American crooning melded with whiplash cowboy stories.
Track Listing: I'd Give My Life; High Noon; Torchin'; It Only Happens Once; Baby, Baby All the Time; When You're in Love; Put Yourself in My Place, Baby; A Man Ain't Suppose to Cry; That Lucky Old Sun; We'll Be Together Again.
Personnel: Gary Smulyan: baritone saxophone; Mark Masters: arranger; Joe Magnarelli: trumpet; John Clark: French horn; Dick Oatts: alto saxophone; Scott Robinson: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bass clarinet; John Fedchock: trombone; Pete Malinverni: piano; Andy McKee: bass; Steve Johns: drums.
Record Label: Reservoir Music