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After the Ball

Frank D'Rone

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Album Review

Though Frank D'Rone must have appreciated the critical comparisons to Frank Sinatra, his 1960 Mercury LP After the Ball sounds more like the work of Bobby Darin, the deep crooner with the angelic face then making waves with his nightclub act and live record, Darin at the Copa. D'Rone, a former guitarist, also bears the mark of Mel Tormé (a true musician's singer), shaping his notes to fit the mood and constantly making conscious decisions to twist a well-worn standard into a new thing. Though singers like him and Darin represented the new face of swinging pop, D'Rone explores deep into the past for these songs; the title track alone was over 60 years old (though taken at a tempo poor Chas K. Harris never would have envisioned), and "My Melancholy Baby" was of a similar vintage. Thanks to the sparkling arrangements of the ever-inventive Billy May, After the Ball has all the spark and fire of the ring-a-ding-ding '60s. Though D'Rone never found commercial success like Darin, the record held up well.

Biography

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s

Chicago singer Frank D'Rone recorded four LPs for Mercury during the late '50s and early '60s, one of them (After the Ball) with name arranger Billy May. A swinging vocalist having much in common with Bobby Darin, D'Rone was originally a band guitarist before making his debut on Mercury in 1957 with a trio of short sessions. His first LP, Frank D'Rone Sings, was followed in 1959 by Blue Velvet. D'Rone made a trip to Los Angeles in order to record with Billy May for 1960's After the Ball, but his...
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After the Ball, Frank D'Rone
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