Tommy Mara

Lost Crooner

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Mara is billed as the "lost crooner" on this collection of both his legendary 1950s recordings -- big band backing with Sinatra-like vocals that'll keep you staring at the speakers and back at the disc booklet just to make sure of what you're hearing, it's that close -- and a delightful quartet of new recordings to round out the package. Mara could swing mightily back then ("I Cried for You," "So Rich and Yet So Very," and while no information on when these recordings were made, or where they were made or who's playing on them, their '50s vintage finds him negotiating just as easily through ballad material like "Fools Rush In." On a couple of the vintage tracks ("Marie," "Where the Blue of the Night"), we find the crooner in pop territory complete with chirping backup singers providing the punctuation, mercifully absent on a soulful and uncharacteristic reading of "Pledging My Love." Tommy Mara may be the lost crooner, but his pipes are still admirably intact as he swings through a quartet of standards on this disc with consummate ease, making you realize that great singing truly is timeless.

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