During the Swing Era (1935-1945), most big bands had what were known as "boy singers" or "girl singers" who had "featured" status - the bandleader was the "star," the singer a "featured" performer. Because of (for the most part) Frank Sinatra, that changed in the '40s: the singer became the star, and his shone the brightest. THE FORMATIVE YEARS collects songs from the time when Sinatra was a member of the Tommy Dorsey and Harry James bands, plus a few of his earliest solos. The Voice is lusciously smooth, full of yearning and starry-eyed first-love enthusiasm. The music is of the mellow, slow-dance side of the Swing Era, with strings and an occasional support and asides from a small vocal group. Highlights include the lovelorn but wry "It's Funny To Everyone But Me," the carefree jive of "Oh! Look At Me Now" and "From The Bottom Of My Heart," which features a lovely trumpet solo from Harry James.
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AllMusic Review by AllMusic