Year in Music 2017

Aces Back to Back

Who but Bobby Darin can claim definitive versions of both "Mack the Knife" and "If I Were a Carpenter"? Darin, who was only 37 when he died of heart disease in 1973, was the missing link between the R

Who but Bobby Darin can claim definitive versions of both "Mack the Knife" and "If I Were a Carpenter"? Darin, who was only 37 when he died of heart disease in 1973, was the missing link between the Rat Pack and "the revolution," the only performer of his time comfortable in both a Las Vegas showroom and a Greenwich Village folk club. "Aces Back to Back" consists of live performances from the early 1970s, as well as some rare late-'60s studio tracks. Darin attacks "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" and "A Quarter to Nine" with the aggressive swing of Sinatra, yet manages to nail the pathos of "Alone Again Naturally" and rueful lope of Dylan's "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight." An accompanying DVD features a number of these performances, as well as a previously unseen black-and-white documentary narrated by George Burns. This set, as well as a forthcoming movie bio with Kevin Spacey as Darin, may give this enormous talent the recognition he so deserves.—WR