By Greg Maki
And now for something completely different …
Hear the name Mark Tremonti and you’ll think of Alter Bridge, Creed and his eponymous solo band. Most of all, you’ll probably think of guitars—huge, muscular riffs and shredding solos. I’m reasonably sure that you won’t think of Ol’ Blue Eyes.
Mark started talking up Frank Sinatra last year while discussing his progression as a vocalist in relation to the latest Tremonti album, “Marching in Time,” saying that singing Sinatra tunes helped him develop his natural, lower register and become comfortable staying there instead of pushing his voice to hit higher notes. Well, it turns out there was more to it than that, as evidenced by his latest release, “Tremonti Sings Sinatra,” a collection of Sinatra classics faithfully recreated by Mark and surviving members of Sinatra’s orchestra. The record is being released as part of a new initiative created by Tremonti called Take a Chance for Charity. Proceeds from the album will go to support the National Down Syndrome Society and the work it does to advocate for and support individuals with Down syndrome and their families. In March 2021, Mark and his family welcomed their first daughter, Stella, who was born with Down syndrome.
From the first note of the record, it’s clear Tremonti wasn’t kidding when discussing his affection for Sinatra. He plays it absolutely straight throughout these 14 songs—no hints of irony, no shoehorned-in guitar solos. In fact, Tremonti is solely a singer on this, and he delivers one knockout vocal performance after another—with “My Way” and “Luck Be a Lady” as his finest moments. Anyone who has followed his career, especially with the Tremonti band, knows Mark has a fine set of pipes, but nothing in his discography suggests he was capable of what we hear on this album. Cue up one of these songs for someone without telling him who it is and they’re likely to assume it’s a remastered recording by Sinatra himself.
Obviously, “Tremonti Sings Sinatra” won’t be for every hard rock and metal fan, devoid as it is of any connection to either of those genres. But to my surprise, it’s one of the most exciting recordings I’ve heard in some time. With music and a cause that Tremonti clearly has a passion for, here’s hoping that this isn’t merely a one-off but the start of an extensive new chapter in an already impressive career.
- “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”
- “I’ve Got the World on a String”
- “I Fall in Love Too Easily”
- “Fly Me to the Moon”
- “Nancy (with the Laughing Face)”
- “My Way”
- “You Make Me Feel So Young”
- “Luck Be a Lady”
- “That’s Life”
- “Come Fly with Me”
- “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning”
- “The Song Is You”
- “All or Nothing At All”