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TWO JACK JONES ALBUMS OFFER GREAT ENTERTAINMENT!
on 14 January 2013
Having already reissued Jack's two initial albums for Kapp Records, Sepia's follow-up now combines the singer's third and fourth releases. I'VE GOT A LOT OF LIVIN' TO DO, released in 1961, is a predominently up-tempo affair (exceptions being IT'S A LONESOME OLD TOWN and bluesy WHEN A MAN CRIES) with arranging/conducting duties shared by Pete King, Marty Paich and Billy May. With the popular title song intoduced in Broadway's BYE BYE BIRDIE, Jack also favours BYE BYE BABY from GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES and I LOVE PARIS (CAN CAN) before including oldies YOU MAKE ME FEEL SO YOUNG, I LIKE THE LIKES OF YOU and WHEN I TAKE MY SUGAR TO TEA as well as his Dad's signature song, DONKEY SERENADE, which Allan Jones sang in the 1937 movie version of THE FIREFLY.
The second album, THE GIFT OF LOVE, released the following year, concentrates on ballads - in particular standards LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE, TIME AFTER TIME and I SEE YOUR FACE BEFORE ME as well as the more recent Fifties favourites SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY, TOO LATE NOW and FLY ME TO THE MOON. Glenn Osser and Chuck Sagle take turns to conduct the orchestra and the featured string-filled arrangements enhance Jack's smooth romantic outpourings. Four bonus tracks are singles that were naturally geared towards chart success with suitably heavy beat and chorus although SHE'S MY DARLING, SHE'S MY ANGEL proves to be a commercially catchy novelty with a bright and brassy backing from Billy May whilst DREAMIN' ALL THE TIME is notable for being a Burt Bacharach ballad collaboration with Bob Hilliard.
Whilst the current trend salutes the longevity and continuing career moves of Tony Bennett, it's easy to overlook the six-decade efforts of Jack Jones who receives insufficient credit for his fine body of recorded work. He tends to be under-represented by CD reissues so Sepia's latest reissue is especially welcome and serves as a reminder of his great vocal talent with excellent remastering and presentation adding to listening enjoyment. Good to also realise Jack continues to perform, with a 2013 UK tour imminent.