Last time I talked music was in my post about Hugh ‘Peanuts’ Whalum. In this post I mentioned some of the singers I enjoy the most listening to and the very cool Dean Martin was one of them. First time I heard Martin’s sublime voice was on a CD, singing with Rat Pack friends Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr.
Two decades after I listened to him for the first time, his easygoing attitude and velvety voice still captivate me. But Dean Martin is not only a voice as some of my friends may think. In the late 1940’s he formed a music-comedy team with Jerry Lewis, he was an actor in Rio Bravo, Toys in the Attic, Ocean’s Eleven (starring the five Rat Packers, in the original movie of 1960) to name a few, and he also hosted a successful TV show in the mid-1960s: The Dean Martin Show. Dean Martin was one of the few who succeeded in TV, Movies and Recordings.
Last week, I was browsing the Jazz section of the music store nearby when the sales assistant, who knows my tastes, came up to tell me that a new CD had come out: Dean Martin: Forever Cool. So I thought: “Yet again, another Dean Martin’s compilation?” In fact, not really. Dean Martin: Forever Cool pairs Martin’s original vocals with new arrangements and artists such as Robbie Williams, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and Joss Stone.
The duets album is done right, but hearing one of my favorite song: Ain’t That A Kick In The Head sung by Kevin Spacey (he’s excellent as an actor) or Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone by Robbie Williams was… surprising, I must say. My favorite tracks on the album are the instrumental duets, with trumpeter Chris Botti (I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face) and renowned saxophonist Dave Koz (Just In Time). Fans of famous French singer Charles Aznavour will surely appreciate his duet in Everybody Loves Somebody (another french actor/singer Gérard Darmon, did a cover of Mambo Italiano in 2006).
Dean Martin: Forever Cool is interesting but ‘exotic’; reborn Dean Martin from his ashes to do duets with today’s artists is kind of weird but it’s a good way to reach young audiences. I finally bought the CD but Dino: The Essential Dean Martin (2004) and its 30-track overview of Martin’s singing career is definitely a must-have.
Whatever is the Dean Martin CD you buy, I will only give an advice: sit down, have a drink, enjoy and most of all, be cool ^_^