- VAN MORRISON & JOEY DEFRANCESCO: YOU’RE DRIVING ME CRAZY: 2018: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Van’s third album in a seven month period-this is another jazz album like the previous Versatile. Defrancesco – a jazz organist and composer. Another solid effort.
- VAN MORRISON: THE PROPHET SPEAKS: 2018: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Van’s most recent album and his 40th studio album over his long career. It would be to me impossible to rank those 40 albums in order due to to his consistency- I do not expect he will ever again put out a 5 star classic but throughout this century he continues to come up with albums that are good- and worth listening to. This is another jazz heavy album- I do hope his next one is more R&B or blues flavored.
- FRANK SINATRA: CLOSE TO YOU: 1957: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Another pairing with arranger Nelson Riddle-the backing is with the Hollywood String Quartet. A rather quiet and gently collection of songs- another 1959’s Sinatra winner- the only way he could lose at this point would be to have intentionally sabotaged the effort- which he would do in the future.
- FRANK SINATRA: A SWINGIN’ AFFAIR: 1957: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Another Nelson Riddle arranged album-another concept album this is seen as a sequel to Songs For Swingin’ Lovers and it is just as good. 15 songs on the original when it was released on CD for decades later The Lady Is A Tramp was added- originally it had been bumped off the first album by No One Ever Tells You.
- QUEEN: MADE IN HEAVEN: 1995: 1 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: 15th and final album by Queen. They should have just let it be. Freddie’s dead but they work with vocals he had made before he died and worked around it. It would have been a much better ending if they had just made Innuendo the final album released while Freddie was alive- be the end. I am a fan of Queen but after giving it the first to last treatment- there are too many bad to average albums in their discography to say they were a grade A band- in my opinion. I have rapped up listening to a number of the discographies I’ve been going through in the past few days- George Harrison, Steve Earle, Van Morrison and now Queen.