Monday, February 13, 2012


The new TV show Pan Am is after the same audience that fell in love with Mad Men, going for that retro late-50's/early 60's feel of adult America, and the exciting lives of stewardesses.  So, it makes sense that they'd go for the same soundtrack style as well.  That means no rock n' roll, but plenty of what was then pop.  This flight is filled with the slick but still cool sounds of famous jazzers and adult vocalists, with a whiff of martini in the air.

The compilers have tried to go past the obvious hits, and they did well with that, as almost none of these bothered the charts.  However, they are also strong choices, and my relatively hasty research shows most weren't released as singles, but probably would have been decent choices.  The names are all recognizable for the most part; Bobby Darin, Ella Fitzgerald, Brenda Lee, Peggy Lee, Dinah Washington, even Count Basie shows up with a late-period attempt at modern sounds, an instrumental version of Ray Charles' recent hit I Can't Stop Loving You.  All good stuff.  Oddly, the one major hit that is included here is so overused that it's become annoying:  I hereby declare a moratorium on the appearance of The Girl From Ipanema for at least a decade.  It needs to rest, at the same retirement home as Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.

There's a ringer here, and it will be of interest to a lot of folks.  New festival favourite Grace Potter is a grand choice to update another classic, with Fly Me To The Moon an obvious and good choice for the show's subject matter.  She does a smooth job of it, too.  With the non-album Potter oddity, and the mostly-obscure track listing, this makes a nice pick-up for those with a taste for some light swingin'.

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