BVS Review

Sandy 's Classic Tunes

Bruce Von Stiers

With a sax player for a dad who has played with such greats as Frank Sinatra, Henry Mancini and Ann Margaret, it seems natural for music to run in Sandy Kastel's veins. But as talented as your lineage is, you have to be able to prove yourself to the masses. And Sandy Kastel has indeed proved herself. This former Miss Nevada and Miss America Talent Contest winner has been burning up stages in both Las Vegas and the Nashville area.

Now the nation is exposed to this wondrous talent. Sandy is sponsoring a NHRA race car driver, David Rumpy. Sandy has performed at several of the venues where Rumpy has raced. They are making stops at various Children's Miracle Network hospitals along the current race circuit route.

But that isn't the only exposure to Sandy . She has recorded and released an album of delicious show tunes. Grabbing songs that classic performers like Sinatra, Wayne Newton and Bobby Darin made popular, Sandy puts forth an album that is sure to delight any fan of classic crooner tunes. The title for the album is This Time Around. It was released on Sandy 's Silk & Satin Records label.

This Time Around has fifteen songs and lasts over an hour. The album was produced by Dan Posthuma, with Sandy and Harold Stout acting as Executive Producers.

Two of the songs on the album were recorded in Las Vegas . The rest were recorded at Dark Horse Studios and Sound Kitchen in Franklin , Tennessee and Blackbird Studios in Nashville .

The songs recorded in Las Vegas featured Bob Rozario on piano and Bob Sachs on bass. Sandy 's father, Dick Kastel, was the featured sax player of the Las Vegas recordings. For the other recordings, there are a lot of talented musicians as well. Pat Coilis on piano. He played on a Cheri Keaggy album I just finished reviewing. Mark Baldwin is on guitar. Bob Mater and John Hammond share the drummer duties and Eliot Torres and Eric Darken share the percussion duties. Craig E. Nelson is on upright and electric bass. Nelson teaches bass at Vanderbilt University 's Blair School of Music

There are four sax players on the album besides Sandy 's dad. They are Mark Douthit, Doug Moffett, Jim Hoke and Denis SaleeLee Levine is on clarinet, while Ann Richards plays flute and Bill Woodworth is on the oboe. As for the brass section, people like Jeff Bailey and Prentiss Hobbs provide some of the trumpet and trombone music. Among other trumpets and trombones, there are two French horns thrown into the mix. As the album contains a few orchestral background music songs, there is a strings section. This string section includes seven violinists, six viola performers, three cellists and a harpist. There is one lone bass player listed in the strings section.

And while I have made a long listing of Sandy 's supporting players, let's not forget the background singers. These singers include Mark IveyTravis CottrellStephanie Hall, Bonnie Keen and Melody Kirkpatrick. There is also Melodie Tunney andTerry White on backing vocals.

The first song is a rousing rendition of Alan Jay Lerner's Come Back To Me.

Next up is a jazzy, upbeat version of Cry Me A River. This has some great jazz combo music backing Sandy , with some snazzy piano.

I have always liked the song Fever. Sandy gives the song more of a melodic sound than the normal sultry tone that most vocalists do. Once again the band gives a stellar performance backing Sandy 's vocals.

Soft and subtle, When I Fall In Love is a beautiful song made even better by Sandy 's smooth vocals. That is followed by a nice gentle medley called Love Medley which includes Everybody Love Somebody, The Way We Were and My Man.

I can't hear the song Misty without thinking about something that Ray Stevens was quoted as saying. He supposedly told an audience that a woman came up to him after he had made a splash with this song. She asked him to “play Misty for me.” For those of you who don't know what that means, it refers to a film called Play Misty For Me which starred Clint Eastwood as a DJ. Jessica Walker plays an obsessed fan and psychotic fan. This is a psycho thriller that predates Fatal Attraction by more than a decade. Anyway, Sandy gives a stellar performance of this great song.

Sandy then gives the listener a fantastic treat with a trio of songs that Frank Sinatra made popular. These songs are called the Sinatra Medley. The songs are All Of Me, I've Got You Under My Skin and Just One Of Those Things.

An interesting song on the album is Viva Las Vegas. The arrangement brings a semi jazz lilt to this classic Elvis tune. As Sandy is a prominent Las Vegas performer, this seems to be a good fit for the album.

Another great song is Sandy 's version of Beyond The Sea.

Later in the album, Sandy does a good job of tackling the Sinatra classic Luck Be A Lady.

Other good songs on the album are Strangers In The Night and Don't Rain On My Parade.

Sandy 's dad has some great sax on her nice rendition of My Funny Valentine.

Many male vocalists attempt Wayne Newton's Danke Schoen. But rarely have I heard a female vocalist sing it. Sandy has her own version on this album. It is a nice, easy rendition of the song.

Sandy ends the album with a terrific rendition of Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

If you like the music of Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Judy Garland and other classic crooners then you are sure to love this album. Sandy Kastel is a wonderfully talented vocalist whose style is definitely rooted in the past.

You can pick up a copy of This Time Around at CD Baby or iTunes.

Part of the proceeds from the album goes to the Children's Miracle Network. Grab a copy of the album for this reason if nothing else.