2/3/15

JACK LEMMON IS "FINE AND DANDY" (NOT)


Next up from Jack Lemmon's debut and farewell album all in one, "A Twist Of Lemmon," is a very peculiar take on "Fine And Dandy" (posted above). Lemmon begins the song in a slow-tempo, with Errol Garner-style background piano comping (is it Lemmon playing?) He seems to be channeling Dean Martin for awhile, then lets the imitation slip away as the arrangement picks up and turns into a string-backed affair for awhile. It's really several different styles of arranging jammed into one two-minute record, glued together (or not quite glued together as the case may be) by Lemmon's distinctly uncomfortable vocal. Things get especially silly in the last bridge-and-out chorus, where Lemmon--perhaps a little toasted at this point? (he was known to knock back the 'Tini's' pretty good)--tries on a variety of other singing styles, tiring of each of them almost immediately. In this sense, the performance might be considered the forerunner of Kevin Spacey's take on Bobby Darin. (This makes a whole lot of sense when you remember that Lemmon was one of Spacey's idols.) I get the distinct impression that this was the last recording of the session, done after midnight, and that nobody--including Lemmon--asked for a second take.

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