Stan Edwards

My Tribute to That Darin Guy

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Although his career was cut far too short by an early death, Bobby Darin achieved a reputation as one of the hippest vocalists ever. Fending off comparison to Frank Sinatra, Darin left behind a legacy of enduring vocal interpretations. Who else could jazz up "Clementine" like Darin? Long an admirer, Stan Edwards produced That's All: A Living Tribute to Bobby Darin, which had a run at New York's Village Gate during the 1990s. This latest album concentrates on material Darin recorded for Capitol. Most of the tunes are done with a rhythm trio, which is a problem. When one hears Darin, it's usually with a big band whose riffs Darin can ride. Doing Darin with such sparse instrumentation fails to fully capture the full flavor of his way with a song. There are a couple of tracks where the group is beefed up, such as with Langston Wertz, who joins in duet with Edwards on "Two of a Kind" (which Darin did with Johnny Mercer for Atlantic). The background trumpet of Billy Gray is on four tracks and is especially nice on "Rainin'." Some of Darin's more popular tunes are here, such as "Mack the Knife" and "That's All." But Edwards has wisely chosen to include some that weren't big hits, including some of Darin's compositions. Sparse backing notwithstanding, Edwards catches the feel of Darin's interpretative qualities, including the unique mordent Darin would employ from time to time. Edwards also shows he has a good feel for show biz. Darin fans should enjoy this one.

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