A Guide to The Wonderful Music of Vegas
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Modern Swing & Lounge Acts / Previous Albums of the Month / Hip Swingin' Sounds / Cruising Classics / Club Copa Classic Cuts
Frankie Sumatraís Top Ten Club Copa Classic Cuts
Hey there Vegas swingers, Frankie Sumatra on the line. This is one call you just gotta take,baby and don't try reversin' the charges on me, you hear. Last guy did that ended up hangin' with Elvis in the great casino in the sky. Anyway here's the lowdown on the super smooth sounds coming out of my speakers this month.:

1.

Sammy Davis Jnr. Live at the Coconut Grove   Reprise LP 1962
My buddy Sammy brings the casa down at the Cocoanut Grove with one of the best live performances of his career.Not as good as "Frank Sinatra Live at The Sands" but not far behind.

2.

Sarah Vaughan Brazilian Romance (LP)   CBS LP 1987
One of Sassyís last and best LPís . A sensational bossa influenced set of originals (plus a great cover of Mendesís So Many Stars) written largely by LP collaborators Milton Nascimento and Brazilian musical legend Dori Caymmi. Featured musicians include the likes of George Duke, Hubert Laws, Sergio Mendes, Paulinho De Costa, Ernie Watts, Caymmi & Nascimento. This LP is sighted about as often as Dino at a Temperance Society meeting so get scouring those bargain bins!
3. Sergio Mendes Sergio Mendes & the New Brasil Ď77 (LP)   WEA LP 1977
Not the classic Mendes & Brasil Ď66 lineup but a later incarnation of the sensational Mendes sound. Itís a mixed bag with a more funky/jazzy/rare groove feel than his earlier super smooth easy listening stuff and itís not all vintage Mendes. However the album does feature the one and only Stevie Wonder. Two of the maestroís compositions ("Love City" and "The Real Thing" ) are given the inimitable Mendes treatment and are far and away the standout tracks. Truly a summit meeting of gangsters of the groove!
4. Peter Allen I Go To Rio   A&M 45 1978
Quintessential Club Copacabana classic from the Antipodean Manilow. This is the Nirvana (or the nadir) of Kitsch. Peter never again scaled the heights of inspiration displayed on this homage to Copa country. Perhaps the most inspired rhyming couplet of all time with the audacious juxtaposing of "Tarzan of the Jungle" and "Bungalow." Other career highlights include penning "I Honestly Love You" for Olivia Newton-John and marrying Liza Minelli. Sadly died of Aids while still at "peak" of his powers. Still "Rio" stands as a fitting epitath to a rare talent, although "Peter Allen : Not quite the full enchilada. A couple of burritos short of a picnic Mexican style" might have served the purpose equally well.
5. Michael Nesmith Rio   Island 45 1976
Another inspired bit of latin lunacy from former Monkee Mike Nesmith. This is good olí latino country rock at itís pioneering best. Clearly the product of a deeply deranged mind this is an excellent example of sophisticated postmodern kitsch as contrasted with niave (premodern?) kitsch ( see Sammy Davis Jnr.ís entry at No.9 ) . " Reno ? Why Reno? " " Not Reno dummy, Rio!, Rio de Jennero!" style conversational interludes provide solid back up to itís postmodern credentials. Most club d.j.ís would find this track about as useful as a Hungarian phrasebook in Bogota but itís perfect for breaking the ice at Vegas style parties.
6. Buster Poindexter Hot Hot Hot   RCA LP 1987
David Johansen of the New York Dolls reinvents himself as latin lounge lothario Buster Poindexter. Davidís (sorry Busterís) version of Arrowís party favourite is a legally required item on the playlist of all federally licensed latino lounge d.j.s
7. Mel Torme

Lima Lady

  Columbia 45 1967
"Velvet Fog"ís (overdue) homage to groovy Peruvians hits the spot. Melís got a girl up in Lima and another down in Ipanema, or so Iíve heard. Mel sure doesnít need to go to Peru to get his groove back Ďcos he never lost it in the first place. Dinoís definitely starting to worry me. Heís spending far too much time poolside at Senor Love Daddyís cabana for my liking. Donít get me wrong Senor Love Daddy is one cool compadre but word is Dinoís started calling himself Meester Martinez and is swapping tanning tips with George Hamilton.
8. Kenny Rogers

Ruby Donít Take Your Love to Town

  Capitol 45 1977
Bronco Billy told me this one went down a storm at Bucky Goldsteinís boyís barmitzvah. I figure if it works at Jewish cowboy get togethers itíll work anywhere.
9. Sammy Davis Jnr John Shaft & In the Ghetto ("Golden Throats") Rhino LP 1991
Sammy takes on the King and Mr.Superbaad Isaac Hayes in a no holds barred tag team tussle. Sammy wins by reducing his opponents to a helpless hyterical pulp of humanity with his uniquely cavalier approach to their material.Originally recorded for Motown in the early 70ís before Berry Gordy foolishly cut Sammy loose just as his creative juices were gushing forth like a red hot volcano of love.
10. Jack Jones

The Loveboat Theme

  Polydor 45 1977
Come on board weíre expecting you! Come to think of it I overheard Dino asking Senor Love Daddy if heíd like to go cruising with him. Perhaps a trip on the Loveboat is what he had in mind!

 

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