If you made a list of performers who have sold more than 53 million records, won multiple Grammy trophies for Best Male Vocalist and countless other honors, earned a star on Hollywood's Walk of...Expand
If you made a list of performers who have sold more than 53 million records, won multiple Grammy trophies for Best Male Vocalist and countless other honors, earned a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame and sold out arenas worldwide, Michael Bolton would be on that list. But if you tallied all the artists who've sung with Luciano Pavarotti and Ray Charles, written songs with Bob Dylan, penned hits for Barbra Streisand and KISS, played guitar with B.B. King and been sampled on a track by hip-hop superstar Kanye West (featuring megastar Jay-Z), Michael Bolton would be the only name on that list.And he doesn't take such dream collaborations for granted. "Working with people who've inspired me so profoundly, like Ray and Luciano, it's like an out-of-body experience," the singer marvels. "These are some of the greatest moments of my life."When you've experienced such peaks, what do you do next? "For years I've kept a list of dream projects," Boltonshares. "At the top of that list was an album of songs made famous by Frank Sinatra."
Now, with Bolton Swings Sinatra (PASSION MUSIC CO./Concord Music Group), the singer can check off another item on his list. The collection finds him taking on classics like "New York, New York," "Night and Day," "My Funny Valentine," "Fly Me to the Moon," "Girl From Ipanema" and "That's Life," and bringing in special guest Nicolette Sheridan for a duet on "The Second Time Around." Supervising the arrangements and orchestrations down to the last note, he's created an affectionate, dynamic tribute to some of the greatest recordings of the 20th century. "In spite of everything we've read about Frank's life, it's his music that endures "his stamp, his voice, his delivery," the singer reflects. "That's what puts him everywhere we travel." Fired up by a spectacular big band of what he calls "A-plus musicians," including 17 horns and 35 string players, and working with top-flight arrangers and audio technicians in the legendary Capitol studios where the Chairman of the Board and countless other icons have put down tracks, he went to work on a batch of songs he'd loved since childhood. The result will be a revelation even for longtime fans "passionate, playful, boisterous, intimate and everything in between, it's a dazzling pairing of a singer and material.He was strongly aided in this endeavor by co-producer Alex Christensen (Paul Anka) and engineer-mixer Al Schmitt (Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Henry Mancini, Steely Dan). "They're brilliant," Bolton asserts of these aural architects. "They helped make everyone feel happy "the players loved the creative environment. Al's like the doctor who's delivered 200 of the most famous babies in the world," he adds, referring to Schmitt's extraordinary track record in the studio, which has earned him 15 Grammys.