Expanding on the concept of Songs for Young Lovers!, In the Wee Small
Hours (released in 1954) was a collection of 16 ballads arranged by
Nelson Riddle. The first 12" album recorded by Sinatra, Wee Small Hours
was more focused and concentrated than his two earlier concept records.
It's a blue, melancholy album, built around a spare rhythm section
featuring a rhythm guitar, celesta, and Bill Miller's piano, with gently
aching strings added every once and a while. Within that melancholy
mood is one of Sinatra's most jazz-oriented performances - he
restructures the melody and Miller's playing is bold throughout the
record. Where Songs for Young Lovers! emphasized the romantic aspects of
the songs, Sinatra sounds like a lonely, broken man on In the Wee Small
Hours. Beginning with the newly written title song, the singer goes
through a series of standards that are lonely and desolate. In many
ways, the album is a personal reflection of the heartbreak of his doomed
love affair with actress Ava Gardner, and the standards that he sings
form their own story when collected together. Sinatra's voice had
deepened and worn to the point where his delivery seems ravished and
heartfelt, as if he were living the songs.
1. In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning (3:00) 2. Mood Indigo (3:30) 3. Glad To Be Unhappy (2:35) 4. I Get Along Without You Very Well (3:42) 5. Deep In A Dream (2:48) 6. I See Your Face Before Me (3:23) 7. Can't We Be Friends? (2:48), 8. When Your Lover Has Gone (3:09), 9. What Is This Thing Called Love (2:34), 10. Last Night When We Were Young (3:17) 11. I'll Be Around (2:59), 12. Ill Wind (3:46), 13. It Never Entered My Mind (2:41), 14. Dancing On The Ceiling (2:57), 15. I'll Never Be The Same (3:05), 16. This Love Of Mine 3:33)...