Sunday, October 24, 2010

Frank Sinatra Sinatra And Sextet Live In Paris 1962

Well, I've been on a bit of a spree lately. And this lovely two slabs of plastic is pretty fine.

Newly remastered and pressed, this '62 recording is far from perfect, but it comes close on several tracks. Sinatra is in fine voice, and the sextet is polished and able. But the band is recorded too low in the mix most of the time, and Sinatra's voice is too forward. But if it is Sinatra's voice you're after, it is here in spades.

Day In - Day Out, I've Got You Under My Skin, I Get A Kick Out Of You, My Funny Valentine, In The Still Of The Night, and They Can't Take That Away From Me are all stellar performances from the Voice. A quiet duet between Sinatra and guitarist Al Viola on Night And Day is excellent. Nancy (With The Laughing Eyes) and the closer, Come Fly With Me, are also standouts.

The trouble is that's less than half of what's here, and much of the rest sounds like Sinatra and band are sleepwalking through the repertoire. Maybe I shouldn't be that harsh on the band. It's a strong group, but the arrangements were written for orchestra, so the saxophone and vibes are trying hard to mimic a string section, and it doesn't work that well. Then there is the unfortunate mix, which does not let you hear the band until Sinatra is way too loud.

I enjoyed the record. Sinatra has it all going on in '62, and the record has been lovingly restored and pressed by Mobile Fidelity. It's a darn good live Sinatra record, but it could have been a great record. The (mostly) lazy performances and the unfortunate mix keep this from being everything it could be. Pretty good for fanatics, but most of us will be better off with other Sinatra recordings.

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