Las Vegas entertainer Dennis Bono cuts his recording teeth on a play list of well-known standards backed by large orchestras of studio musicians conducted by James Steffen, Gordon Goodwin, and Count Basie alumnus, Sammy Nestico. The play list and the singing style immediately betray who was Bono's major influence: none other than the King of Las Vegas, Frank Sinatra. Bono's mannerisms and the arrangements even recall those charted for the master by the likes of Billy May and Nelson Riddle. The debt to Sinatra comes through most on such cuts as "But Not for Me" and "Love Is a Tender Trap." Nonetheless, Bono is no mere imitator. He brings to the vocal table a strong baritone with a good sense of timing and rhythm. No doubt, the man has chops that he applies with both vigor and sensitivity to the tunes he sings. Wisely, Bono has made sure that there is a good balance between slow romantic ballads and up-tempo material.
A very large string section helps create the proper setting for the former, while solid horn playing is the hallmark of the latter. There are credible solos on the CD. Most notable are Stan Stahl's trombone on "As Time Goes By" and John Kaddell's tenor on "Come Rain or Come Shine." Sinatra, Mel Tormé, and Dick Haymes established such high standards in male singing that make it difficult for anyone with similar aspirations to follow.
Yet Bono and others like Peter Marshall perform an important service by keeping this style of singing alive and before the public to remind them just how good it is. Recommended even though there's a lot of unused space on the CD, which features just 40 minutes of music.
|Come Rain or Come Shine / Harold Arlen / Johnny Mercer||Dennis Bono||4:12|
|Teach Me Tonight / Sammy Cahn / Gene DePaul||Dennis Bono||2:53|
|But Not for Me / George Gershwin / Ira Gershwin||Dennis Bono||2:31|
|What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life? / Alan Bergman / Marilyn Bergman / Michel Legrand||Dennis Bono||3:21|
|Night and Day / Cole Porter||Dennis Bono||2:13|
|Forget to Remember / Victoria Pike / Teddy Randazzo||Dennis Bono||2:55|
|The Way You Look Tonight / Dorothy Fields / Jerome Kern||Dennis Bono||3:49|
|I'll Only Miss Her When I Think of Her / Sammy Cahn / James Van Heusen||Dennis Bono||3:04|
|Love Is a Tender Trap / Sammy Cahn / James Van Heusen||Dennis Bono||3:10|
|As Time Goes By / Herman Hupfeld||Dennis Bono||4:18|
|Time After Time / Sammy Cahn / Jule Styne||Dennis Bono||2:46|
|The Party's Over / Betty Comden / Adolph Green / Jule Styne||Dennis Bono||3:51|