Vic Damone

Stay with Me

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The popularity of Brazilian songs during the early to mid-'60s was a boon to traditional pop singers, who often looked in vain to contemporary American popular song for material -- notable exceptions including Bacharach and Broadway. Over half of Vic Damone's gently romantic Stay With Me LP from 1966 is composed of Brazilian compositions, with the irrepressible Jobim accounting for six himself. All of the choices are obvious ones -- "How Insensitive," "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars," "Meditation," "The Girl From Ipanema," "Once I Loved," and the non-Jobim "Pretty Butterfly" -- but Damone's is one of the voices most suited to these soft-toned songs and copacetic charts. Speaking of, Ernie Freeman's work arranging and conducting doesn't improve the performances; admittedly, it must've been tough making "The Girl From Ipanema" sound new and different, but these charts have a maudlin air that drags down the entire record.

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