[32] Fred Astaire – Steppin’ Out

15 Nov

Known for his sublime dancing, far more than his acting or singing, I was surprised to see Fred Astaire’s name on Tom Moon’s list.

But listening to this collection of the Great American Songbook – recorded when they were new – may just have been the high point of my listening to date.

Steppin' Out: Astaire Sings

Steppin’ Out: Astaire Sings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a performer with a clear understanding of style and structure providing a clean and measured delivery of some of my favorite songs.

His is not a unique or even especially impressive instrument, but he sketches baseline interpretations that get to the core of each story, his voice front and center in the mix.  Astaire is no Sinatra or Crosby, Bennett or Connick, but he makes Rod Stewart’s attempts in this genre sound overthought and overproduced.

And it never hurts to be backed by the best studio musicians on offer.

I love the opportunity to revisit the rarely heard intros to these classics, and am happy to take any opportunity to hear the songs again (and again).  I am fascinated when I realize that, while I know every song, I have never heard a single one of these particular recordings.

It has been my loss.

Astaire makes me believe the emotion of each track – you can hear his smile, sense his introspection, feel his excitement where each is appropriate.

It hardly seems fair for the best dancer of his generation to also have such vocal feel for the music he danced to.

Owned before blogging? No. (2 of 32. 6%)
Heard before blogging? No. (4 of 32. 13%)
Recommend? Yes. (26 of 32. 81%)

Next week: Chet Atkins and Les Paul – Chester and Lester

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One Response to “[32] Fred Astaire – Steppin’ Out”

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  1. » Movie Review – Second Chorus Fernby Films - August 7, 2014

    […] [32] Fred Astaire – Steppin’ Out […]

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