Fred Astaire

The Astaire Story, Vol.1-2

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AllMusic Review by

Because he was world renowned as a dancer and quite popular as a movie actor, Fred Astaire has tended to be underrated (if not completely overlooked) as a jazz singer. Although not really an improviser, Astaire's phrasing always swung and his occasional vocals on record were usually a joy. This two-CD set is something special for it features Astaire with six members of Jazz at the Philharmonic: tenor saxophonist Flip Phillips, trumpeter Charlie Shavers, pianist Oscar Peterson, guitarist Barney Kessel, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Alvin Stoller. Astaire sings 34 swing standards (many of which he had originally introduced in movies), dances on three ad-lib numbers, and sits out on the instrumental "Jam Session"; the musicians have plenty of opportunities to stretch out. The biggest surprise to this classic deluxe box (which was originally four-LPs) is that Fred Astaire did not do similar projects more often throughout his career. Highly recommended.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 4:26 SpotifyAmazon
2 2:51 SpotifyAmazon
3 4:14 SpotifyAmazon
4 3:28 SpotifyAmazon
5 4:36 SpotifyAmazon
6 3:13 SpotifyAmazon
7 2:56 SpotifyAmazon
8 3:26 SpotifyAmazon
9 2:55 SpotifyAmazon
10 5:39 SpotifyAmazon
11 2:22 SpotifyAmazon
12 2:57 SpotifyAmazon
13 2:57 SpotifyAmazon
14 4:45 SpotifyAmazon
15 4:48 SpotifyAmazon
16 2:07 SpotifyAmazon
17 2:27 SpotifyAmazon
18 3:01 SpotifyAmazon
19
2:24
blue highlight denotes track pick