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Bebop Spoken There

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

DVD Review: Frank Sinatra at The Royal Festival Hall - June 1, 1962

Frank Sinatra (vocals); Bill Miller (piano); Emile Richards (vibes); Harry Klee (saxes, flute); Al Viola (guitar); Ralph Pena (bass); Irv Cottler (drums).
(Review by Ann Alex)
They say ‘better late than never’ but 53 years is a bit much!  I’d better explain, otherwise I’ll be sacked from BSH and replaced by Daphne. I found out about this concert when I was on a Frank Sinatra themed holiday recently.  It seems it was broadcast on television, then the tape was lost because of changes among various television companies.  The tape was rediscovered in 2014 after some clever research done by a friend of the tutor who led the holiday, and it is now on general release as a DVD.
We saw the video as part of the holiday, so I thought a review would be in order, since many people will never have had the chance to see the film. This was one of a number of concerts given in aid of children’s charities, with all expenses underwritten by Sinatra himself.  Princess Margaret was in the audience. There are more details of all this via Google.
This was Frank at his glorious best.  It’s open to debate, but I prefer Frank singing with a jazz combo rather than an orchestra with strings. I don’t think he had the best voice around, but he impresses every time because of his acting skill which makes him able to get the full meaning of the lyrics across. His communication with the audience was something else as he chatted whilst drinking a cup of lemon tea and smoking a cigarette.  There was no real interval as such, so Frank gave good measure, singing for about 2 hours, hard work indeed, but he made it all look so easy, very relaxed listening, it seemed as if he was singing to each listener individually. 
All the Frank classics were delivered: At Long Last Love; Imagination; Moonlight In Vermont: I’ve Got You Under My Skin; My Funny Valentine; April In Paris; Night And Day (not many solos as such, but this number was varied with a sax solo); Autumn Leaves (as a ballad rather than swing); a swinging I Could Have Danced All Night: And many others which readers will be able to list from their own knowledge of Frank’s work.
I especially liked One For my Baby, which was performed movingly with just piano and voice; Chicago made me want to hop on a plane and go there.  The encore featured Old Man River; You Make Me Feel So Young; Nancy With The Laughing Face (written for his daughter, of course) and Come Fly With Me. And all accompanied immaculately by this skilled band.
Definitely the highlight of the holiday!
Song listing.
Ann Alex 

1 comment :

Liz said...

A Frank Sinatra themed holiday sounds like Heaven to me Ann, good review, thank you

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