Saturday, December 12, 2015

Voice Will Be Voice: Centenarian of the Board

video
Let's swing into Saturday by chiming in among the very many and deserved tributes you'll happen upon today, the 100th anniversary of the birth of Frank Sinatra.
There really isn't much I could say. Possibly the greatest phraser of vocal melody in species history. Multi-talented in the realms of music, film, all facets of what it means to be an entertainer. One of the biggest stars the world will ever see. Maybe the most revered male celebrity ever to live, in any discipline.
For me, it boils down to the song. The song is one of the things we do right, when we know what we're doing... our species doesn't have much to recommend it, but music is at the top of that all-too-short list. Someone like Ol' Blue Eyes here exists at the toppermost echelon of our toppermost idiom of expression as humans. You don't get much more successful at life than that.
It's in the elegance and relaxed-yet-perfectly-pinpoint phrasing, if you ask me. No one can do it like him, or ever could or maybe ever will. The way he tosses the words out around the beat so effortlessly, like it comes as naturally as breathing. He can seem like he is rushing to the end of the line and somehow throw out the beginning of the next before the line begins, and make it so integral to the meaning of what he is doing that the most famous vocalist in human history may as well be singing to you and you alone. Well, him, you and a tumbler full of the finest single malt scotch, anyway.
That kind of intimacy can't be manufactured, it must be felt and felt with the sort of sincerity the man could deliver like the mail... reliable, on time and full of news good, bad and indifferent. If music is the soundtrack of the film of our lives, we need people who can deliver that Oscar-winning score so the experience can be all it can be. I probably don't have to tell you that this is one of those guys... perhaps the guy.
There isn't a whole lot of material of his that remains unissued, being one of the most popular recording artists of all time as he is. A number of things circulate, and one of my personal favorites is Frank's series of concerts in Brazil in 1980 and 1981, a couple of which were taped for radio and TV and never released. Today I will share a tremendous performance from Sao Paolo in 1981, that circulates from an off-air FM recording that suffered, until now, from diginoise issues due to a faulty transfer somewhere along the line.
I took some time and repaired these bursts of irritating noise, dialing them back to a healthy "no longer there" for the most part, so this is now in the kind of spiffy condition a 100th birthday celebration would merit. I also titled and tagged the files, because you can't show up to the big shindig and there's untitled/untagged files hanging around, am I right? This should now be in shape to embellish your afternoon in the most exquisite fashion, my friends.
Frank Sinatra
Maksoud Plaza Hotel
Sao Paolo, Brazil
8.13.1981

01 Fly Me to the Moon
02 The Best Is Yet to Come
03 When Joanna Loved Me
04 Come Rain Or Come Shine
05 I've Got You Under My Skin
06 Strangers In the Night
07 The Lady Is a Tramp
08 Medley: The Gal That Got Away/It Never Entered My Mind
09 Frank's monologue
10 I Get a Kick Out of You
11 Band introductions   
12 These Foolish Things
13 My Kind of Town
14 Chorinho (Tony Mottola solo)
15 As Time Goes By
16 I've Got the World On a String
17 Sweet and Lovely (feat. Charles Turner)
18 New York, New York
19 Pennies from Heaven
20 My Way

Total time: 1:10:01

Frank Sinatra - vocals
Tony Mottola - guitar
Charles Turner - trumpet
Robert Alexander - trombone
Harry Klee - saxophone & flute
Gene Cherico - bass
Irv Cottler - drums
Vincent Falcone, Jr. - piano
and featuring The Joe Mallon New York Orchestra conducted by Vincent Falcone, Jr.

off-air master reel FM recording, diginoise issues repaired by EN
335 MB FLAC here
So there you have it.... hopefully now that I cleaned it up a bit it'll swing your Saturday superlatively and fly you to the moon in just the correct trajectory. Obviously there will be a ton of tributes today, so I hope you can integrate this little offering into the celebrations. This is one of the timeless guys, so enjoy this most timeless hour and ten minutes in tribute to the one of the greatest vocalists that will ever be born, who joined us 100 years ago this very day.--J.
12.12.1915 - 5.14.1998