"One of the most swinging versions ever of “America the Beautiful”- Scott Yanow
America the Beautiful is the patriotic and popular song that most Americans learned in grammar school (at least they used to). The great Ray Charles recorded a very well received rendition in the 1970s, as did Elvis and others The song has a well-documented and interesting history. Initially written as a poem, later the melody from a different song (and different writer) was combined with it, to create the wonderful song about our awe-inspiring country and it's heroes.
Frank Lamphere's new album "America the Beautiful Swinging"
Fast forward to 2020. Most of the versions out there of America the Beautiful aren't really the kind one would listen to, while having a glass of wine or just driving home from work. It has often sounded like a church hymn or a song in which one feels compelled to stand. Frank Lamphere felt that this song would sound comfortable and be very listenable, with a swinging approach. That's exactly what he did.
Lamphere and his band, assembled from among what many would agree are some of the top jazz players in the world, give this opening track the "Rat Pack Jazz treatment". They swing the heck-out-of-it and explore three keys, while doing so.Bassist Dennis Carroll is first to be heard, as he opens the track with an accapella four bar intro. Lamphere, guitarist Andy Brown and drummer George Fludas follow, to complete the first chorus and set the stage for pianist Larry Harris' entrance. The momentum grows with each note. A pair of memorable solos by Harris and Eric Schneider (tenor sax) ensue, before a key change and powerful final chorus.
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