"One of the most swinging versions ever of “America the Beautiful.”- Scott Yanow
America the Beautiful is the patriotic song that most Americans learned in grammar school. 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 was combined with it, to create the great song about the awe inspiring America.
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 someplace. 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 company give this opening track the "Rat Pack Jazz treatment". They swing the hell-out-of-it.Bassist Dennis Carroll opens the track with an accapella 4 bar intro before Frank, guitarist Andy Brown and drummer George Fludas follow. Pianist Larry Harris "storms in" in the second chorus. The momentum then grows with each chorus. A pair of memorable solos by Harris and Eric Schneider (tenor sax) ensue, before a third key change and final booming chorus.
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