4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
EXCELLENT GEORGE CHAKIRIS DOUBLE ALBUM COLLECTION,
This review is from: George Chakiris Sings (Audio CD)
Generally known for his starring role in the movie version of WEST SIDE STORY (1961), George had already appeared in the preceding London production of that hit musical. However, recalled also as an excellent chorus dancer he can be seen in Hollywood's GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953) and WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954) to name but two of the many films he appeared with featured roles gained in many later movies. He was also a personable vocalist and I'm pleased to welcome this two-album pairing of GEORGE CHAKIRIS and GEORGE CHAKIRIS SINGS GERSHWIN recorded in 1962 and 1959 respectively. It proves to be a great showcase for George with the singer ably handling both ballads and more rhythmic material with smooth application and pure understanding of the lyrics emotional needs.
The latter album was likely to have been recorded in London whilst George appeared in WEST SIDE STORY and with the London Variety Theatre Orchestra he embraces eleven Gershwins' standards with I'VE GOT RHYTHM, EMBRACEABLE YOU and LOVE WALKED IN amongst those nicely expressed and often swung to great effect along with DO IT AGAIN written by George with Buddy DeSylva and a swinging and appropriatle placed IT AIN'T NECESSARILY SO added from a later session recorded with Johnny Gregory and his Orchestra.
The Capitol album, GEORGE CHAKIRIS, hit the US album charts at #28 and not only includes standards BY MYSELF, ILL WIND and YOU STEPPED OUT OF A DREAM but heavily relies on songs from then-current Broadway musicals with ONCE UPON A TIME (ALL AMERICAN), TONIGHT and MARIA (both WEST SIDE STORY), I BELIEVE IN YOU (HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING), ONE GIRL and A LOT OF LIVIN' TO DO (both BYE BYE BIRDIE) and ALL I NEED IS THE GIRL (GYPSY) ensuring the album's topicality. Orchestra is conducted by Milton Raskin.
With four bonus show tunes from an EP, this release acts as an excellent vocal reminder of a star who might otherwise be overlooked when appraising vocal ability. Sepia's usual excellent sound remastering, presentation, photographs and notes ensure the finishing touch.