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A Tribute to Frank Sinatra

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Album Review

Sid Mark, a Philadelphia-based DJ who has played Frank Sinatra's recordings exclusively, once commented that the 20th century officially came to an end when Ol' Blue Eyes died on May 14, 1998. What Mark meant was that Sinatra, more than anyone, defined jazz-influenced pop singing in the 20th century. A Tribute to Frank Sinatra is hardly the first album to pay homage to the pop icon, and you can rest assured that it won't be the last. Thankfully, Blue Dahlia singer Athan Maroulis knows better than to provide a slavish, knee-jerk imitation of Sinatra's vocal style. Sinatra is a major influence on the crooner, but so are Billy Eckstine and Mel Tormé — and all of those influences assert themselves when he offers 1940s-like interpretations of "Night and Day," "Laura," and other standards that Sinatra recorded during his youth. For the most part, Maroulis isn't paying tribute to the cocky, strutting, post-1949 Sinatra who recorded for Capitol and Reprise, but rather, the young Bing Crosby-loving crooner who recorded for Columbia in the 1940s. However, he does interpret "New York, New York," which Sinatra didn't record until 1979 — and Maroulis shows what the tune might have sounded like had Sinatra recorded it 35 years earlier. But again, Maroulis isn't trying to be a faceless Sinatra clone; as derivative as the Blue Dahlia is, Maroulis always comes across as his own person on this enjoyable, 1940s-minded CD.


Genre: Tribute

Years Active: '00s

The Blue Dahlia were a major departure for Athan Maroulis, who is best known for his lead vocals with the industrial/darkwave band Spahn Ranch. Sounding nothing at all like Spahn Ranch or any of the other alternative outfits who Maroulis had performed with -- which include goth rockers Fahrenheit 451 and the industrial-oriented Tubalcain -- the Blue Dahlia are a throwback to the vocal jazz and jazz-influenced pre-rock pop of the '40s. As the Blue Dahlia's lead singer, Maroulis is cast as a smooth,...
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A Tribute to Frank Sinatra, The Blue Dahlia
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