September 23 2006, by Will Friedwald, Political Mavens

As I’ve said at least twice in the New York Sun already, Jack Jones, like Tony Bennett, is one of the last of the great old school pop-jazz singers who are still performing at the top of their game. Tonight is his last night at The Oak Room. I heartily recommend him, especially if you’ve never seen him live. (There is a link to my full review at the bottom of this page.)

Here is a song list (from the opening night):

I Am A Singer (Gerard Kenny)
Gypsies, Jugglers And Clowns (Mel Mandel/Norman Sachs)
Where Is Love (Lionel Bart)
She Loves Me (Sheldon Bock – Jerry Harnick)
Don’t You Quit Now (Johnny Mercer – Jimmy Rowles)
Love Of My Life (by an un-named friend of Mr. Jones)
Stranger In Paradise (Borodin – Wright – Forest)
It Amazes Me (Coleman – Leigh)
Just In Time (Styne – Comden – Green)
One At A Time (Legrand – Bergman – Bergman)
Wives And Lovers (Bacharach – David)
Call Me Irresponsible (Cahn – Van Heusen)
A Song For You (Leon Russell)
Just One Of Those Things (in 3/4)
Adio Como Teamo (How Much I love You) (Domenico Modugno)
Falling In Love With Love (Hart – Rodgers)
We’ll Be Together Again (Laine – Fischer)
Love Is Here To Stay (Gershwin – Gershwin)
Encore: Gershwin Medley

One more thing: I actually grew up with the song ?Wives And Lovers? via the Frank Sinatra version, on his famous second album with Count Basie, It Might As Well Be Swing. I didn’t hear the Jones version, which was the original hit, until many years later. As is well known, the Jones version, as written by Burt Bacharach, is a swinging waltz. Well, I hadn’t played the Sinatra-Basie version for a long time. Then, after hearing Jack Jones sing it again – he does it now as an even more jazzy waltz, sort of a la Bill Evans – I felt like listening to the Sinatra. I remembered that Sinatra didn’t do it as a waltz (he only rarely sang in waltz time) – but to my surprise, he sings it not in _ or 4/4 but in 2/4! It’s kind of a classic Jimmie Lunceford two-beat. And it works that way, it really swings. That’s the amazing thing about Sinatra, or any great music, every time you listen again, you hear something new.