Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Danny Aiello: Crooner


Danny Aiello is a fine character actor, a master technician of his craft, one of our best. So -- the question invariably arises -- Why would he want to fuck with his mojo? The answer is complex, but in our 33 years on this planet we have observed -- and the unending tsunami of American Idol contestants bears this pet theory out -- that every human being believes that they are a great singer. Lloyd Grove's Lowdown reports on Aiello's transit into this dodgy artistic space:

"At 71, Danny Aiello has embarked on a brand- new career: saloon singer. The busy character actor - who's starring opposite Jane Curtin in the upcoming movie 'Lobster Farm' - enjoyed a fair bit of critical success with his first album, 'I Just Wanted to Hear the Words.' "

And Lobster Farm (Averted Gaze) has so clearly "$40 million opening weekend" written all over it? And who among us does not enjoy a Jane Curtin cinematic experience?

The other night at Feinstein's at the Regency, I sat with Phil Ramone, the Grammy-winning record producer extraordinaire, listening to Aiello croon and belt such standards as 'Besame Mucho' and 'You Made Me Love You.'"

He (The Corsair sheds a tear) had me at, "Como si fuera esta noche la �ltima vez." -- So verdad.

"... Aiello may not read music, but he can sell a song with the best of them - not as an actor who's playing the part of a singer, but as natural singer who also happens to act. The guy had his audience, especially women of a certain age, in the palm of his hand."

But you'd have to be gentle with them in you pal, as they might reinjure their hips.

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