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14 November 2003

Frank Stallone, In Love in Vain (Simba)
It can't be easy being Sly Stallone's younger, look-alike brother. But with this collection of orchestrated standards, the sometime actor and full-time crooner Frank Stallone sets himself apart as a talent to be reckoned with -- a song interpreter extraordinare. It's been more than 25 years since Frank Stallone caught the public's attention, doing a doo-wop number in big brother Sylvester's first Rocky film. But his music career's been wildly uneven since, despite a hit single in 1983 with the disco-flavored "Far from Over". Down, but certainly not out for the count, Stallone -- who's been making music steadily since his teen years -- arises with a vengeance on this dynamic aural outing. With the help of Count Basie's arranger/band leader Sammy Nestico, Stallone breathes new life into this lush collection of cover songs. With his suave, '40s-styled vocal swagger, Stallone is a confident, heartfelt singer. On all 12 American Songbook treasures -- including Johnny Mercer's "Day in Day Out", "One for My Baby", and "In Love in Vain", and standards like "Beyond the Sea" and "Witchcraft" -- Stallone croons with unmistakable flair and passion. This is the perfect dinner-party album; just whip up those martinis, sit back and relax.
      — Nicole Pensiero

.: posted by Editor 7:48 AM