One More For the Road
Singer-Songwriter-Saxophonist Curtis Stigers newest album is inspired by the Frank Sinatra's legendary performances at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas backed by the Count Basie Orchestra.
Backed by The Danish Radio Big Band, he is heard performing at the band’s headquarters, the acoustic marvel that is the DR Koncerthuset in Copenhagen. The liner notes state that band plays "vibrant takes based on the original Nelson Riddle and Billy May arrangements…" which may refer to the arrangements of Sinatra's original recordings of songs heard here since Quincy Jones arranged and conducted the Sinatra-Basie collaborations.
This is not an effort to replicate the original performance (Only 8 of the 10 numbers are from the recording from the Sands) and Stigers suggests Old Blue Eyes as opposed to imitating him with his vocals. This is an enjoyable recording starting with "Come Fly With Me," through "You Make Me Feel So Young," "My Kind of Town," "Fly Me To The Moon," and the "The Lady Is a Tramp" before closing with "One For My Baby (and One More For the Road)," which like the Sinatra recording with Basie, is with essentially piano accompaniment. The Danish Radio Big Band is terrific throughout and Stigers engaging vocals make this somewhat short (34 minutes) a listening delight.
I received my review copy from Concord Records. This review originally appeared in the January-February 2017 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 370) jazz-blues.com. Here is a trailer for this recording.