Singer Signorello was born too late. Or so it seemed until the retro-swing revival made the pop climate a lot more hospitable to his full-tilt big band sound.
An unabashed fan of Frank Sinatra, the local vocalist swings and swaggers through this brief but decidedly brassy collection of mostly pop standards as if the rock era never dawned. Even the arrangement of Van Morrison's "Moondance," one of several tunes showcasing Signorello's pop bravado, sounds as if it were minted in Las Vegas.
The original songs -- "Martini Dance" and "The Cool One" -- seem designed to create a hip image for Signorello, but they are no competition for the vintage tunes that comprise most of the album, especially those Sinatra gems "Come Fly With Me" and "You Make Me Feel So Young." As for the predictable flag-waving finale, "New York, New York," well, even some Sinatra songs should be left unsung.
With the help of producer Bobby Cannata and arranger Carroll Skinner, Signorello succeeds in paying tribute to the music and musicians he loves. That accomplishment alone will endear him to many swing fans. Yet the album reveals little trace of a distinctive vocal impression. For now at least, Signorello's influences are far more apparent than his interpretative gifts.
Appearing Saturday at the State Theatre with the N.Y. City Lights and Aug. 5 at 5:30 at Freedom Plaza. To hear a free Sound Bite from Signorello, call Post-Haste at 202/334-9000 and press 8128. (Prince William residents, call 690-4110.)