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The Joy Of Living

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Album Review

The liner notes speak of Nelson Riddle's "restful yet zestful style" as an arranger-conductor, which is perhaps a way of saying that the material here is mid-tempo, with the frequently familiar tunes ("Makin' Whoopee!," "June in January") dressed up in attractive charts that never get too lively or somber. Perhaps Riddle, who was being used less often by Frank Sinatra as the singer turned to Billy May for his swing albums and Gordon Jenkins for his ballad albums, was asserting the importance of a middle ground. If so, he got his point across, returning to work with Sinatra the following year on the appropriately named Nice 'n' Easy. In a sense, this album is the precursor to that one, an easygoing collection of small tonal joys.


Born: 01 June 1921 in Oradell, NJ

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Nelson Riddle was quite possibly the greatest arranger in the history of American popular music. Over the course of his long and distinguished career, he was also a popular soundtrack composer, a conductor, a trombonist, and an occasional hitmaker in his own right. He worked with many of the major pop vocalists of his day, but it was his immortal work with Frank Sinatra, particularly on the singer's justly revered Capitol concept albums, that cemented Riddle's enduring legacy. Riddle was a master...
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The Joy Of Living, Nelson Riddle
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