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File this one under "Sinatra-lite" very lite! For readers too young to remember, former teen heart-throb James Darren starred in Gidgit in the late-50s and scored a Top-10 hit in 1961 with Goodbye Cruel World. His career was rejuvenated recently with his portrayal of swingin' lounge singer Vic Fontaine on the TV series, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. This One's From The Heart attempts to cash in on the popularity of this show. While the handsome actor still looks damn good in a tux, Darren adds nothing new to this 17-track collection of classic American standards. His interpretations of songs so closely identified with Mr. Sinatra pale badly by comparison. Frank didn't just sing these tunes ---- he owned them! On a more positive note, Darren is backed by a host of precise studio pros and the arrangements by such "heavyweights" as Marty Paich and Alan Broadbent are predictably competent. Truthfully, why settle for second best when you can always enjoy the real deal? Pointless. **
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.