The album feels even more like a collection of singles (instead of an actual movie soundtrack) than Help! or A Hard Day's Night, but maybe that's because every song sounds like it could have been a hit single–with the natural exception of the goofy/weird instrumental "Flying." Even George's "Blue Jay Way" paints a vivid sound-portrait in fascinating detail. (I consider Joni Mitchell's "Car on the Hill" from Court and Spark to be a companion piece about sitting in the Hollywood Hills, waiting for somebody to show up.) And although the goofy TV movie may have been mostly Paul's baby, this album features the two 45 rpm masterpieces that sum up the quintessential best of Lennon and McCartney at this stage of their development: Paul's "Penny Lane" and John's "I Am the Walrus." –Jim Emerson
Sonny Criss plays Cole Porter – and the results are way greater than the sum of the parts – even though those parts are already pretty darn great! Criss' alto sax has a superb tone at this time – razor-sharp, and nicely crisp – yet still filled with warmth that sets it apart from some of his more modern contemporaries – a beautiful balance that really illuminates these tunes, and has you thinking of them as fresh Criss compositions, not older Porter standards. The instrumentation is quite fresh, too – thanks to the addition of Larry Bunker on vibes, which is a really nice surprise – and piano by Sonny Clark and Jimmy Bunn. The great Lawrence Marable plays drums – and titles include "I Love You", "Easy To Love", "Night & Day", and "Love For Sale".