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Duets [20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition]
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel includes: Frank Sinatra, Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, Bono, Gloria Estefan, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Liza Minnelli, Luther Vandross, Carly Simon, Julio Iglesias, Charles Aznavour (vocals); Ron Anthony, Paul Viapiano (guitar); Gerry Vinci, Ralph Morrison (violin); Ken Burward-Hoy, Carole Mukogawa (viola); Gloria Strassner, Anne Karam (cello); Dorothy Remsen (harp); Kenny G (alto saxophone); Tom Scott, Lanny Morgan (saxophone, woodwinds); Conte Candoli, Frank Szabo (trumpet); Dick Nash, George Bohanon (trombone); Bill Miller, Michael Melvoin (piano); Chuck Berghofer, Dave Stone (bass); Gregg Field, Jeff Hamilton (drums); Emil Richards, Joe Porcaro (percussion).
  • Producers: Phil Ramone, David Foster, Albert Hammond, Andre Fischer.
  • Includes liner notes by David Wild.
  • DUETS was nominated for a 1995 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance, and "I've Got A Crush On You" (Patrick Williams/Nelson Riddle, arrangers) was nominated for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals.
  • Personnel includes: Frank Sinatra (vocals), Ron Anthony, Paul Viapiano (guitars), Gerry Vinci, Ralph Morrison (violins), Ken Burward-Hoy, Carole Mukogawa (violas), Gloria Strassner, Anne Karam (cellos), Dorothy Remsen (harp), Lanny Morgan (saxophones, winds), Conte Candoli, Frank Szabo (trumpets), Dick Nash, George Bohanon (trombones), Bill Miller, Michael Melvoin (piano), Chuck Berghofer, Dave Stone (bass), Gregg Field, Jeff Hamilton (drums), Emil Richards, Joe Porcaro (percussion).
  • Additional guest artists: Luther Vandross, Julio Iglesias, Carly Simon, Charles Aznavour (vocals), Tom Scott (saxophones, winds).
  • Producers: Phil Ramone (tracks 1-2, 5-6, 8-13); Phil Ramone, David Foster (track 3); Phil Ramone, Albert Hammond (track 4); Phil Ramone, Andre Fischer (track 7).
  • Includes liner notes by David Wild.
  • DUETS was nominated for a 1995 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance, and "I've Got A Crush On You" (Patrick Williams/Nelson Riddle, arrangers) was nominated for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals.
  • When you blaze as deep and wide a path in this world as Frank Sinatra, you're bound to gain admirers from all avenues on the musical map. Consequently, when Sinatra decided to put out the call for potential duet partners, everyone from Aretha to Julio to U2's Bono leaped at the chance to lend their voice. Considering the eclectic group of guest artists involved, the arrangements are remarkably consistent, and the potential egofest is eschewed in deference to Sinatra's artistry.
  • Though the tunes tackled here are associated immediately with the Sinatra canon, many of them receive an unexpected twist. Among the most unusual is the surreal, David Lynch feel of the Sinatra/Bono "I've Got You Under My Skin," with Bono's haunting wail contrasting Sinatra's gruff pragmatism. Surprisingly, one of the most effective collaborations here is with an instrumentalist, perhaps just because it gives Sinatra's voice that much more room to roam; "One For My Baby," adorned by Kenny G's sax filigrees, has never rung truer. In the winter of his years, Sinatra invests the standard with an unprecedented pathos, regret and emotional devastation. It's perhaps his finest recorded moment of the decade, and makes DUETS instantly worth the price of admission.
Professional Reviews
Entertainment Weekly (11/5/93, p.66) - "...DUETS doesn't aim to be contemporary. Co-producers Phil Ramone and Hank Cattaneo re-create the brassy big-band arrangements of the original recordings..." - Rating: B

Down Beat (1/94, p.38) - 4 Stars - Very Good - "...Everybody plays in Sinatra's ballpark here and works by his rules. And everybody profits...."

Musician (2/94, p.79) - "...The listener's final impression is that, whatever has been lost, Sinatra's songs have acquired a strenuous beauty in the crucible of old age...."

Audio Magazine (2/94, p.81) - "...[Sinatra] gives lyrics the idiomatic American nuance of a fingersnap even when he's short of pitch or breadth--which seldom happens here. His mature voice and canny renditions easily stand up to thrilling contributions [from his collaborators]..."
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