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Joe Temperley: The Sinatra Songbook

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Add Joe Temperley to the list of artists who have recorded worthy tributes to Sinatra, including Tony Bennett, Carol Sloane, Joe Lovano and even Biréli Lagrène (vocalizing!). Then again, with the Great American Songbook as the repertoire, how can you go wrong? Temperley’s salute comes 10 years after Sinatra’s death, and features heartfelt theme readings, passionate solos and rousing arrangements by Andy Farber and James Chirillo on the selections for octet. You can practically hear Sinatra singing along as Temperley croons the melodies on baritone and soprano sax. His sound on bari is sometimes cavernous yet tender, as on “Nancy (With the Laughing Face),” and at other times breathily insinuating like Ben Webster’s. His glowing soprano sax often evokes Sidney Bechet’s fervent edginess, especially on “Day by Day.” The two lovely miniature ballad interpretations by Temperley-the 2:49 quartet version of “In the Wee Small Hours,” and his 1:46 duet with guitarist Chirillo on “Goodbye”-say all you need to know about the leader’s appreciation of, and love for, Sinatra.

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