Davi Sings Sinatra: On The Road To Romance


aec.snli001.2 10/24/11 New
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    Davi Sings Sinatra: On The Road To Romance Sun Lion Records

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Review Text For the most part, as far as the moving picture camera is concerned, appearance is destiny, and when the camera first glimpsed 20-year-old Robert Davi in the TV movie Contract on Cherry St. in 1977, it saw an acne-scarred face with beady eyes and a sinister expression; it saw a villain. That young Davi was actually an aspiring opera baritone drafted into the part by the picture's star, Frank Sinatra, didn't matter. Suddenly, he had a movie and TV career, as long as he was willing to play heavies, and he went on to decades of steady work as a face audiences knew, even if they didn't stick around to read his name in the cast list. He never, however, gave up his dream of singing, and in the 2010s, in his mid-fifties, he has realized that dream, not with opera arias, but with a collection drawn from the Sinatra repertoire. He has not stinted on the effort, enlisting Sinatra regulars like producer Phil Ramone and mixer Al Schmitt, and recording in the studio below the Capitol Records building in Hollywood favored by his idol. He also commissioned new arrangements of the old standards by conductor Nic Tenbroek. Those charts, which evoke predecessors by the likes of Nelson Riddle and Billy May, are a key to the recording. They contain echoes of the earlier ones and are in the spirit of the '50s post-swing style, but they are new. Similarly, Davi makes no attempt to copy Sinatra's vocal sound, even if he repeats some of the phrasing down to the asides. Rather, he is his own singer, and his voice is actually closer to those of such second-tier Sinatra wannabes as Vic Damone, Jack Jones, Al Martino, and Steve Lawrence. That's still some rarified company, though. And the singer Davi most resembles is actually Robert Goulet, though his singing is less mannered and suppler than Goulet's. It's a big baritone voice, and that makes him better on the uptempo numbers, which dominate, and a bit less surefooted on the ballads. Still, his affection for the material is obvious, and this album should make a good souvenir for people able to catch his Sinatra tribute concerts in Las Vegas and other cities. ~ William Ruhlmann

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Day in Day Out - 3:46
  2. 2. Nice n' Easy - 3:41
  3. 3. All the Way - 3:55
  4. 4. I've Got the World on a String - 2:06
  5. 5. Witchcraft - 3:39
  6. 6. In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning - 3:47
  7. 7. Nice Work If You Can Get It - 2:21
  8. 8. Summer Wind - 3:51
  9. 9. Here Is That Rainy Day - 3:22
  10. 10. Best is Yet to Come - 3:54
  11. 11. Mam'selle - 3:42
  12. 12. Too Marvelous for Words - 2:18

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