I have loved this 45 r.p.m. record since it was given to me by my stepfather many years ago. He was a stockbroker and, if memory serves, Russ Locandro was a colleague of his, also a stockbroker, who moonlighted as a big band singer. Or something like that.
The first thing that struck me about the Russ Locandro Orchestra’s version of Morris Albert’s “ever popular” Feelings, is the plangent use of a Wurlitzer organ to inflate some authentic skating rink swag into a song that was, truth be told, dated sounding when Morris Albert originally recorded it in 1975. But in this version, Locandro’s Italian lyrics (now titled Sentire) is so very evocative that you just may find yourself floating down a Venetian canal. Perhaps you’re holding the one you love close, very close, a handsome gondolier is silouhetted against a full summer moon…forgive me, I shouldn’t be writing and listening to the song simultaneously.
Though Locandro’s “Big Band Sound of Today” is a misnomer for multiple reasons, all will be forgiven once you feel the first throbbing strains of Russ’ powerful organ. Here was one stockbroker who never stopped investing in his dream, and in that regard I find him very sympathetic. As the label copy suggests, you will enjoy Russ’ “zingy rock flavored rhythm; and then for extra measure introduces for the first time, with continental flavor, the beautiful Italian lyrics, Sentire.”
This recording is one of my favorite things, and if it brings a fraction of the happiness to you that it has given me these many years, I will be gratified.
CLICK HERE TO HEAR THE RUSS LOCANDRO ORCHESTRA’S SENTIRE: