Michael Feinstein opens The Sinatra Project, Vol. II: The Good Life with a surprising bang. He swings “Thirteen Women” a brazenly heterosexual, even male chauvinist fantasy about a man and his harem (it makes a little more sense if you know that Feinstein first discovered the song in a version by Ann-Margret called “Thirteen Men”). It’s a clear signal that the Sinatra Feinstein is paying tribute to here is the boozy, smug, Rat Pack Sinatra of the 1960s, rather than the sophisticated 1950s songster of the first volume. As with that first volume, Feinstein is once again paired with producer-arranger Bill Elliott who leads a 30-piece orchestra, and Elliot delivers a sound that is simultaneously lush and hard swinging. It’s all very Pan Am, very Mad Men, and a lot of fun in that vein.
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