Frank Sinatra

Gold Collection: Essential Masters of Jazz

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Here you go -- a snazzy box featuring a dignified, even regal portrait of the Chairman of the Board; a slipcase; two CDs totaling 40 tracks; a booklet with a short essay that is anonymously credited; and some quotes by Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Harry James, and a few others. What you don't get is any information about where these tracks were culled from and whether they are master takes or alternates or whatever, and the quality, while being acceptable, sounds dodgy, even on the later stuff. My guess is that while Sinatra fans could identify virtually everything here, this package wasn't created for the aficionado but the schmoe who wants to put some Sinatra in her or his collection without spending a bundle. That being the aim, there are far better collections than this, but you would pay a bit more for them. CD two is the better of the two, compiling tracks from the '50s-'70s. Everything you could want (within reason) is here and the only track that's missing -- thank God -- is "Somethin' Stupid," the duet with Nancy Sinatra. Nonetheless, this is still a shoddy package that presents consumers with a CD of material from the '40s that showcases Sinatra as an artist developing his voice and style. For someone seeking the one selection that will put a solid smattering of Sinatra in her or his collection, this one should be passed by.

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