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Big band and orchestra arrangements by Patrick Williams, Bob Krogstadt, David Campbell and Ray Ellis make James Darren's latest album swing gracefully through all fourteen popular songs. These are the songs we've grown up with. Cookin' like Count Basie, the band comes alive with the kind of bouncing rhythms that get your whole body into it. A veteran singer and a music lover, Darren has chosen songs that have a strong effect on the listener. He swings them with ease.
Darren's voice is as strong and as flexible as it was forty years ago. Because the feel for each of his selections comes from deep within, the singer is particularly effective on slow ballads, such as "I'm a Fool to Want You," "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" and "My Old Flame." Each one simmers. Impressionism takes hold of each tale. Jim Fox's acoustic guitar guides majestic Latin rhythms on "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," while Pete Christlieb's weeping tenor saxophone carries a torch for "My Old Flame." Darren is a natural. As long as he enjoys sharing, we can look forward to more sessions such as this one.
Track Listing: Just One of Those Things; My Kind of Girl; Can't Take My Eyes Off of You; A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square; More Today Than Yesterday; Blame It On My Youth; Because of You; Good Life; I'm a Fool to Want You; Boulevard of Broken Dreams; Our Day Will Come; I Can't Give You Anything But Love; My Old Flame; Dream a Little Dream of Me.
Personnel: James Darren- vocals; Tom Ranier- keyboards; Chuck Berghofer- bass; Gregg Field- drums & percussion; Jim Fox- guitars; Warren Luening, Rick Baptist, Wayne Bergeron, George Graham- trumpet; Bill Watrous, Charlie Loper, Bob McChesney, Phil Teele- trombone; Gary Foster, Greg Huckins- alto saxophone; Terry Harrington, Pete Christlieb- tenor saxophone; Lee Callet- baritone saxophone; Sheridan Stokes, James Walker- flute; Earl Dumler- oboe; Paul Klintworth- French horn; Assa Drori- violin, concertmaster; Darius Campo, Joel Derouin, Bob Sanov, Kristin Fife, David Stenske, Raymond Kobler, Carolyn Osborn, Olivia Tsui, Hanna Krejci, Jennifer Walton- violin; Karen Baukinen, Renita Koven- viola; Christina Soule, Matt Cooker- cello; Paul Morin- bass; Julie Berghofer- harp; Monica Mancini- harmony vocal on "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You."
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.