Oleg And His Friends
Bruce Von Stiers
On his show, Oleg Frish has interviewed over two thousand celebrities, including James Brown, Donna Summer, Kenny G and Connie Francis. Originally from Russia, Oleg this year is celebrating his twentieth anniversary in media. But not only is Oleg a program host and interviewer, he is a bit of a crooner.
To celebrate this milestone, Oleg has put together an album that features duets with some of his best friends and musical idols. This album is Oleg Frish: Duets With My American Idols.
There are fifteen songs on the album. It has a play time of forty-six minutes. It was released by Time Out Media and distributed by BDG/RED Distribution.
Along with the guest vocalists, Oleg got together some top musicians to play on the album. Kenneth Asher and John Oddo played piano. David Finck was on bass. Bob Mann was on guitar. Allan Schwartzberg played drums and percussion. Jon Cobert did some of the keys. The horn section was covered by Glen Drews, Lawrence Feldman, Tony Kadlick, David Mann, Aaron Heike, Kevin Osborne and George Rabbi. Other performers included Mike Davis and John Guth. Datevik Hovanessian provided backing vocals on one song.
As Connie Francis is such an icon, and a good friend of Oleg's, it is no surprise that she offered a spoken intro to the album.
Then it's on to You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You. Steve and Edie have recorded this classic. Frank Sinatra did too. Here Oleg pairs up with Gary U.S. Bonds for a terrific rendition of the song.
Peggy March is best known for her early ‘60's hit I Will Follow Him. She shares the microphone with Oleg for The Way You Look Tonight. One of my favorite Jerome Kern songs, Oleg and Peggy do a nice job with it.
Ben E. King is another icon who took the time to sing with Oleg. You can just hear the fun they had while recording the classic Day By Day.
Oleg takes a terrific solo turn with The Things We Did Last Summer.
From Frank Sinatra to Bryan Adams to jazz vocalists such as Carol Duboc, the list is of people who've recorded the Bobby Hebb song Sunny is immense. On this album Oleg teams up with another icon to perform Sunny. The icon who shares the microphone on the song is B.J. Thomas. The guys do a pretty decent job with the song.
Chris Montez had his first hit in 1962 with the song Let's Dance. Here he sings along with Oleg on the classic tune What A Difference A Day Makes. Although it's has been recorded by such greats as Bobby Darrin and Diana Ross, Chris and Oleg are pretty good themselves on the song.
Lainie Kazan has a starring role in the new film My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. But back in the mid ‘80's Lainie had the starring role in the stage production of Hello Dolly. Lainie grabs the spotlight once more as she and Oleg sing the musical's title song, Hello Dolly. It is a smile effecting, toe tapping rendition.
Oleg once again has a nice solo performance on the album with the Meredith Wilson song, Till There Was You.
I have liked Tony Orlando since hearing him as a kid. I was pleasantly surprised to hear his great duet with Oleg on the Jimmy McHugh classic On The Sunny Side of the Street.
The great guest performers keep coming as Oleg shares the microphone with Melissa Manchester on A Fine Romance.
Fred Astaire recorded Dancing On The Ceiling. Oleg doesn't sound like Fred but does a decent job on the song.
Toe tapping music and smile effecting lyrics make When You're Smiling a fun song that Oleg sings with Lou Christie.
You can't help but smile as Oleg does his final solo effort with the Sid Tepper classic Bagel and Lox.
Volare has been recorded by a lot of people. Here Oleg sings it with Bobby Rydell, who had a hit with the song way back in 1960. This was a great way to close out the album.
To be honest, I had never heard of Oleg Frish before receiving this album to review. But I was well aware of each of the people who chose to sing with him on the album. That was a plus for me before I even started listening the songs. But once I heard the songs, with Oleg holding his own with each of these iconic vocalists, I genuinely like the album.
Oleg Frish: Duets With My American Idols is available at amazon.com and other retailers.
You can find out more about Oleg Frish and this new album on his official web site at http://olegfrish.com/ Oleg also has Facebook band page at https://www.facebook.com/Oleg-Frish-182179468465328/?fref=ts
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© 2016 Bruce E Von Stiers