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Michael Bolton: Bolton Swings Sinatra

Jim Santella By

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Michael Bolton would never have achieved the fame that he's garnered if he wasn't genuine. Sure, his sincere approach to singing takes him over the top. After all, he is an emotional performer. That red-faced, vein-protruding tightness comes with the territory, and it's brought him to the top of the pop, R&B and classical charts. He loves what he does, and this project derives from that persona.

Bolton doesn't try to be Frank. He sings these favorite Sinatra songs with the same kind of orchestral and big band accompaniment that Ol' Blue Eyes preferred; however, his vocal interpretations are strictly his own. He forces each melody with an intentional fervor that totally contrasts with the cool swing Frank Sinatra represented.

Arranger Chris Walden surrounds Bolton with swinging musical scenes that emulate the organizations Frank Sinatra worked with. At times, you can hear the Basie Band coming through confidently in the musical accompaniment. Brief solos appear from saxophones and trumpet. A 17-piece big band and a 35-piece string section stand united with Bolton on "For Once in My Life, "You Go to My Head, "My Funny Valentine, "The Girl from Ipanema, "Night and Day and "The Second Time Around. The latter is a vocal duet with Nicolette Sheridan.

Emotions are on fire here, and the message is clear. Bolton's crying refrains carry a significant emotional burden.

The big band arrangements work much better, since they contrast smoothly with the singer's forceful delivery and allow for a swinging demeanor. "Fly me to the Moon, "I've Got You Under My Skin, "Summer Wind, "That's Life, "They Can't Take That Away From Me and "New York New York feature comfortable big band arrangements that get your foot tappin' and your shoulders moving. It's memorable music, and Bolton has done his listeners a service by bringing it to a very large audience.

Track Listing: You Go to My Head; Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words); For Once in My Life; Summer Wind; My Funny Valentine; I

Personnel: Michael Bolton: vocals; Nicolette Sheridan: vocals; others.

Title: Bolton Swings Sinatra | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Concord Music Group

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