Frances Faye

No Reservations

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Despite her Fifth Avenue looks, Frances Faye exploded the stereotype of the standards singer -- they type of vocalist apt to reverently croon a Cole Porter song as though she were a rector bowing her head while reciting from the Book of Common Prayer. Granted, No Reservations is indeed packed with Cafe Society standards, but Faye was a garrulous singer, and rarely so entertainingly indelicate as she is here. She opens on a high note, "Drunk with Love" -- "Rotten liquor, mostly gin, in all the clubs that I stagger in, and 'round and 'round because I've found, he loves me drunk...with love." And she rarely received arrangements as sympathetic as what Dave Cavanaugh brings here, whether it's the reinvention of the hoary "Summertime" as swing-meets-R&B with Latin percussion and tearing sax or a warhorse like "Miss Otis Regrets" getting a rewrite as a loose '50s swinger. [A DRG reissue from 2007 added 11 bonus tracks from various '50s sessions, including Leiber & Stoller's obscure "Hey, Mister" and a previously unreleased "When Love Comes Knocking." By the way, virtually all of the material here appears on the multi-disc set No Regrets from Jasmine.]

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