Jackie Gleason: Music for Lovers Only

Jackie Gleason’s moody mood music

Jackie Gleason was a man of many talents, not the least of which was his ear for music. Gleason didn’t write a great deal, nor play any instruments, but as a musical director he picked the songs and arrangers, and conducted the orchestra in creating a lush body of romantic  mood music. For this first album, originally released as an eight-song 10” in 1952, he featured the cornet playing of Bobby Hackett. Hackett became a regular on Gleason’s recordings (see the 4-CD The Complete Sessions for more), and here he helps establish the intimate, forlorn feel of Gleason’s recordings. These are neither the syrupy sounds of the ‘50s, though they include lush string scores, nor the swinging sounds of the ‘60s. The mood, particularly in the searching tone of Hackett’s lonely horn, blends dreamy seduction, the tears of Sinatra’s Where Are You? and the fatalism of film noir. The song list draws from the great American songbook, including titles by Rodgers & Hart, George & Ira Gershwhin and Mel Torme; Gleason’s original “My Love for Carmen” closes the set. The original eight-song LP was expanded to sixteen tracks in 1955, all in mono; a 12-track stereo re-recording was issued in 1958. Real Gone reaches back to the 16-song lineup, expanding on Collectors’ Choice’s out-of-print two-fer. [©2012 hyperbolium dot com]

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