Picks and Pans Review: L.a. Is My Lady

updated 09/17/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/17/1984 01:00AM

Frank Sinatra

To be fair, Sinatra isn't exactly the Yankee Iglesias anymore either. His voice fails him once or twice on this album, though he's holding up pretty well. He sure can bring out the reinforcements: Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson's current mentor, produced this album, rock power Phil Ramone recorded it, and the studio band includes George Benson, Ray Brown, Steve Gadd, Urbie Green, Lionel Hampton and Bob James. Having already cornered the big city theme-song market with My Kind of Town (Chicago Is) and Theme From New York, New York, Sinatra can be forgiven the aimless title tune, written by Jones and his wife, Peggy Lipton, and Alan and Marilyn Bergman. (Why is Los Angeles a lady and not a man or a child or a moose?) The rest of the album includes a typically astute selection of standards, such as Teach Me Tonight, A Hundred Years From Today and If I Should Lose You. Sinatra still insists on rewriting lyrics, as if this were hip rather than embarrassing. On Mack the Knife, he sings, "Oh, Satchmo Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin/They did this song nice/And Lady Ella too/They all sang it/Sang it with such feeling/That Ole Blue Eyes/Can't add nothing new." But he is still the master of popular-music inflection, phrasing and tone. In a lot of ways he is still the master of popular music, period. (Qwest)

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