Matt Dennis

Dennis, Anyone?

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Matt Dennis' first live LP, recorded in Hollywood in 1955 and also including a dozen Dennis compositions, doesn't have quite the songwriting firepower of Sings and Plays Matt Dennis. Instead of "Violets for Your Furs" and "Angel Eyes," listeners get "Old Uncle Fud" and "Bless You, Little Sleepyhead." Still, Dennis is just as suave and sentimental (though not as humorous), singing clever ballads like "I'm the Boy Who Takes Her Home" and the unexpectedly optimistic "Where Do We Go From Here?." A few do fall flat, including one ("That's How Close I Want to Be to You") whose references to then-current events and obscure personalities barely made it out of the '50s. Also, it's difficult to escape the fact that many of Dennis' performances are nearly identical. Undoubtedly an entertaining performance for a night out during the mid-'50s, Dennis, Anyone? exists for digital-age listeners as an interesting curio of lounge-act finesse.

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