"Hey, it's been 400 years, but that little number still works for me."
James Darren as Vic Fontaine, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
James Darren is an American actor, director, and singer. From 1998 to 1999 he appeared on the television show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as a holographic 1960s-era Las Vegas Rat Pack-style entertainer called Vic Fontaine. What made Vic Fontaine such an interesting character was that he was self-aware. He knew that he was a hologram and that he and his band and his club were not real, but it didn't bother him. He was cheerful and intelligent, cracked jokes about being a hologram, spoke a lot of 1960s slang and was an insightful and compassionate friend to others.
Vic Fontaine was so likeable he became friends with the crew of Deep Space Nine and even earned their respect. In several episodes, he helped members of the crew get through difficult moments in their life. He gave Odo romantic advice and helped him go on a date with Kira Nerys. He cheered up Quark and Bashir when they realised that they did not stand a chance romantically with Jadzia Dax because of her relationship with Worf. When Jadzia was later killed, Vic helped Worf mourn the death of his wife. During the battle of The Seige of AR-558, Bashir played a recording of Vic singing "I'll Be Seeing You" over a sound system to help raise troop morale. In the episode "It's Only a Paper Moon" Vic counsels Nog after he loses his leg fighting in the Dominion War and becomes too frightened to leave the holodeck. As Vic once cheerfully put it he was a pretty good friend for a light bulb with a good set of pipes.
James Darren performed a number of jazz numbers with a full jazz band as Vic Fontaine on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. "This One's From The Heart" is a collection of some of the songs that Darren sung on the show. The album does not include any recordings of Darren from his performances on Deep Space Nine. The album was released in 1999 and featured re-recordings of each of the songs with a swinging jazz band and string orchestra backings and Darren singing in Frank Sinatra style.
James Darren as Vic Fontaine on Star Trek Deep Space Nine
Some of the songs that appear on the album which Darren sung on Deep Space Nine include "The Best Is Yet to Come" (from "Badda-Bing Badda-Bang"), "Come Fly with Me" (from "His Way"), "All the Way" (from "Image in the Sand"), "It's Only a Paper Moon" (from "It's Only a Paper Moon"), "I've Got the World on a String" (from "It's Only a Paper Moon"), "Just in Time" (from "It's Only a Paper Moon"), "I've Got You Under My Skin" (from "His Way"), "The Way You Look Tonight" (from "What You Leave Behind"), "Here's to the Losers" (from "Tears of the Prophets"), "You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You" (from "His Way"), and "I'll Be Seeing You" (from "The Siege of AR-558" & "It's Only a Paper Moon").
James Darren's performances as Vic Fontaine on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine were my earliest introduction to jazz music as a kid. James Darren managed to combine comedic skills with excellent acting chops and a good singing voice to create a truly memorable character. His performances of "Here's to the Losers","It's Only a Paper Moon" and "All the Way" made for truly memorable moments on the show. But arguably his best performance on Deep Space Nine would have to be "The Best is Yet to Come" which he sung as a duet with Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks).
If you are a fan of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Vic Fontaine you will love "This One's From The Heart". A fun and finger-snapping album, Darren manages to re-create the sound and feel of Vic Fontaine, while also echoing Frank Sinatra. If you enjoy jazz music, you will like the selection of songs on the album, which are all classics that Darren sings in a bold and upbeat manner. The brass band that accompanies him is top-notch and matches Darren's charm. The only criticism I have for the album is that while the songs are all done very well some of them felt similar to each other and struggled to stand out.