Rambles.net Review Of 'This Time Around'

I've got to admit I was not looking forward to listening to this CD when I looked at the list of songs. Most have been interpreted many, many times. Does the world need another version of "Misty" or "Over the Rainbow"?

But there are some great arrangements here. Nothing radically different, as Sandy Kastel is a Vegas-styled entertainer ("Viva Las Vegas" is included here). But on many of the 15 tracks she is backed by a big band, something you don't hear much anymore.

Ten brass horns, eight woodwinds and a number of strings add a lot of power. It reminds you of some of the great Sinatra sessions, and Kastel does a medley of songs associated with him, as well as "Strangers in the Night."

Kastel has the power and range to front a large unit, and she seems to enjoy herself. She can handle songs like "Don't Rain on My Parade" that need to be belted with perfect elocution, and more intimate ones like "My Funny Valentine," where she is only backed by a trio.

These are swinging songs done with flair, worth visiting one more time around.