Ain't Love a Kick
the songs of Sammy Cahn endure. We'll tap our toes and
recall cherished moments to the tune of "Day by Day"
and "The Things We Did Last Summer" until 2099
and beyond. But whose versions of the unforgettable songs
of Sammy Cahn will we remember?
sure to be a crowded ballot. And it's a fair bet that
not many votes will be cast for the efforts of Frank Lamphere
and his band.
voice has almost the tone of Bennett, but not nearly
the timbre of Crosby. Acoustically, his singing is loungy,
but without the camp you enjoy or the croon you embrace.
The crystal-clarity of his presentation on Ain't Love
a Kick is meant to evoke the originals, rather than
supercede them. Nice for a night on the town, but why
buy his album when so many others have done better in
record almost becomes the difference between "the
notes" and "the music". The nimble bass
of Nick Schneider stands apart as vibrant and provocative;
Johnny Gabor's keyboard work is capable yet pedestrian,
from patented trills on "Please Be Kind" to
staccato phrasing on "Star". The skin work of
Mike Jeffers rhythmically sound but scholastic in style.
Strummer Frank Portolese applies marching-band precision
to accompaniment and lead, making the two almost indistinguishable
in terms of the excitement they generate.
fairness, there's nothing particularly wrong with this
disc. The tone is rich and clear, the players are all
accomplished, and as noted, the songs are gems. The challenge
is to take that head start and run it past the finish
line. Instead, we end up with tepid renditions of classics
that are instantly forgettable.