Frank Sinatra turned 80 in 1995, and Capitol released this two-disc "best of" in celebration. Sinatra's initial tenure at Capitol, which lasted from 1953 to 1962, is generally considered to be his artistic watermark. His voice and technique had improved considerably since his initial peak of popularity in the mid-'40s (the "swinging" phrasing most commonly associated with Sinatra's style really came to the fore during the Capitol years); he also had the good fortune to work with Nelson Riddle and Billy May, whose inventive arrangements certainly brought out the best in Sinatra's singing. This set's song selection is tough to argue with, but you'll really need to get all of Sinatra's Capitol albums to gauge the true measure of the man's artistry. ~ Dan Epstein
This was the second of Joe Newman's three dates he led under the Swingville banner. For this session he was in the very fine company of Frank Foster (tenor sax), Tommy Flanagan (piano), Eddie Jones (bass) and Bill English (drums). Recorded 10 months after the excellent JIVE AT FIVE album (also for Swingville), and with Flanagan and Jones returnees, this album is just as good as its predecessor. Frank Foster's forceful, mainly middle-register playing is very effective, and Tommy Flanagan is as good as ever. Only one tune, MO-LASSES, which is a blues a bit too overloaded with funk, is not up the the high level of the other tracks. A solid date.