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Live from Atlantic City (Live)

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Album Review

Jazz-influenced traditional pop has a long history of being performed in the U.S. gambling centers Las Vegas and Atlantic City. The Rat Pack spent a lot of time in Vegas, and from the late '70s on, Atlantic City has followed Vegas' lead and had a love affair with traditional pop. So it isn't surprising that actor/singer Danny Aiello (who is better known for his acting than his singing) would record a live album in Atlantic City. This 53-minute disc, which was recorded in the Sands Hotel & Casino's Copa Room on February 18, 2006 (about 18 months before the Sands was demolished), doesn't pretend to point traditional pop in any new directions; Aiello's prominent influences include Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Tony Bennett, and Dean Martin (especially Sinatra), and his performances of well-known standards such as "All of Me," "Pennies from Heaven," "I'm Confessing (That I Love You)," and "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter" are consistently mindful of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s (the glory years of traditional pop). Aiello's performance of Harold Arlen's Sinatra-associated "One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)" is an obvious salute to Old Blue Eyes, and he pays homage to Darin on "Beyond the Sea" (a major hit for Darin in 1960). But while Aiello (who was 72 when this album was recorded) is hardly the most original or distinctive singer in the world, he doesn't lack either charisma or vocal chops — and even though nothing the least bit groundbreaking or expansive occurs, Aiello's performances never fail to be likable. It would be nice to hear Aiello broaden his repertoire instead of performing so many warhorses and playing it so close to the vest; even so, Live from Atlantic City is a pleasant, if predictable, document of Aiello's Copa Room appearance.


Genre: Pop

Oscar-nominated actor Danny Aiello, best known for his roles in Moonstruck and Do the Right Thing, grew up in the Bronx, where singing on the street corners was a common thing, and Aiello took his share of vocal turns. He sang in at least one of his movies, Once Around, which also starred Holly Hunter, and Rabbit Ears released his spoken word album, Pinocchio, in 1993, which featured musical backing from Les Misérables Brass Band. He also appeared in Madonna's "Papa Don't Preach" video in the 1980s....
Full bio
Live from Atlantic City (Live), Danny Aiello
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