"The Voice of Frank Sinatra" is Frank's first full-length remastered concept LP from 1945, along with ten bonus tracks of alternate takes from 1945-1947. The original album was released as a four disc 78 RPM set by Columbia in March 1946. Featuring classically inspired orchestrations by Axel Stordahl, Sinatra's eight original songs on "Voice of Frank Sinatra" are timeless: many come from the Great American Songbook in the form of The Nearness of You, Someone to Watch Over Me, You Go To My Head, and These Foolish Things, along with Try A Little Tenderness, Why Shouldn't I, Ghost of a Chance, and Paradise.
The liner notes are a gem, featuring numerous studio photographs from the album's recording and subsequent releases, insightful commentary on the album's creation, and in-depth descriptions of the remastering process (rarely have I heard a WWII era disc sound so fresh). The ten bonus tracks are alternate and "safety" takes from the 1945-1947 sessions and include Mam'selle, Spring is Here, That Old Feeling, Fools Rush In, When You Awake, It Never Entered My Mind, and Always in addition to several alternate takes from the LP.
This is a young Sinatra just discovering the power of these songs, with a voice that hadn't yet become his trademark croon as later evidenced on Columbia and Reprise albums. The classically inspired orchestrations borrowing from Impressionist masters like Debussy, Ravel, and Delius, as well as Romantics such as Rachmaninoff, and Tchaikovsky, lend a buoyancy and timeless quality to the well-chosen standards. And in most places, the remastered sound quality is impeccable.
"The Voice of Frank Sinatra" is a true treat for any fan of WWII-era standards and of Sinatra himself, with stellar packaging (with original album art), in-depth liner notes, and excellent sound quality for a bargain price. If you're thinking of collecting early Frank Sinatra, but aren't quite ready to invest in the four-CD "Best of the Columbia Years 1943-1952," consider this as an excellent first purchase in vintage Sinatra, along with "Young Blue Eyes: Birth of a Crooner," swinging Big Band sessions with Tommy Dorsey from 1940.