Frank Sinatra made his first studio recordings on July 13, 1939 with a band led by the man who gave him his first real break in show business -- trumpeter Harry James. Columbia/Legacy's 1995 release of the complete 1939 recordings of the Harry James Orchestra featuring Sinatra includes four alternate takes and seven live performances, recorded during the summer of 1939 at the Roseland and Marine Ballrooms in New York and Atlantic City (tracks 15-21). Tracks 15-18 predate Sinatra's studio recording debut by several days. There's something pleasant about hearing this vocalist putting songs across just before he became ultra-famous by ditching James to pursue more lucrative exploits as Tommy Dorsey's star attraction. The Sinatra of 1939 was a 23-year-old wonder whose marvelous voice was not yet saturated with the singer's notorious latter-day swagger. He's clearly happy to be showing the public who he is and what he can do. The combination of Sinatra's fresh young energy and the excellent instrumental accompaniment makes this entry in the Harry James discography a wise choice for those interested in the singer, the trumpeter, or both.
AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf