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When Michael Feinstein and conductor/arranger/producer Bill Elliott decided to make a new recording of songs associated with Frank Sinatra, the last thing they wanted to do was a “tribute” album attempting to imitate Sinatra’s inimitable sound. “I wanted to try and recreate a certain kind of swing style,” Feinstein explains, “that would reflect him, but not copy him.”

As arranger, Bill Elliott’s job was to “channel Nelson Riddle” and imagine how he might have done the job 60 years ago, working with pencil and paper and a studio orchestra of top flight musicians who had all come up in the big band era. Fortunately, Elliott is an historian as well as an orchestrator, and knows exactly how bands were configured in the 1920s, ‘30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s, and how to accurately reproduce the sound of any era, from a Jazz Age dance band, with its emphasis on reeds and strings, to the brass-laden array Nelson Riddle and Billy May commanded at Capitol Records.

  • 2010
  • PBS Episode(s): 1
  • Performance Type: Other
related song(s)
Exactly Like You
There’s a Small Hotel
related performer(s)
Michael Feinstein
Benny Goodman
Artie Shaw
Frank Sinatra
Paul Whiteman
related songwriter(s)
Dorothy Fields
Jimmy McHugh
Lorenz Hart
Richard Rodgers
Michael Feinstein
related collection(s)
The Michael Feinstein Collection