Marian McPartland

My Old Flame: Marian McPartland Performs the Classic Hits of Sam Coslow

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The name Sam Coslow may not be well known in the 21st century, but during the 1940s, he had a number of popular hits which were adapted by jazz musicians, 12 of which are featured on this Marian McPartland LP. Unfortunately, the A&R person who put together this date for the pianist saddled her with an annoying choir that proves to be little more than a distraction. As a result, her bittersweet trio treatment of "My Old Flame" and the lush arrangement of "Cocktails for Two" both end up sounding like dated Muzak, making one long for the hilarious spoofs of the two songs done by Spike Jones two decades earlier. Most of the remaining numbers suffer the same fate. Fortunately, the label didn't demand this nonsense all the way through the session, so McPartland cuts loose on the choir-free tracks and is able to do justice to the now obscure numbers like "Sing You Sinners" and the brisk waltz "Je Vous Adore (I Adore You)." But most jazz fans will have a tough time sitting through the annoying easy listening (if fairly soft) backing vocals, so this long out of print and extremely hard to find album will likely appeal only to those attempting to collect all of her recordings.

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