Sinatra at the Sands (With Count Basie & the Orchestra)

Frank Sinatra

1966/1998: Reprise 9 46947-2

  1. Come Fly with Me
  2. I’ve Got a Crush on You
  3. I’ve Got You under My Skin
  4. The Shadow of Your Smile
  5. Street of Dreams
  6. One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)
  7. Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words)
  8. One O’Clock Jump
  9. “The Tea Break” (Monologue)
  10. You Make Me Feel So Young
  11. All of Me
  12. The September of My Years
  13. Luck Be a Lady
  14. Get Me to the Church on Time
  15. It Was a Very Good Year
  16. Don’t Worry ’Bout Me
  17. Makin’ Whoopee!
  18. Where or When
  19. Angel Eyes
  20. My Kind of Town
  21. “A Few Last Words” (Monologue)
  22. My Kind of Town (Reprise)

Ah, Frank…Frank, Frank, Frank…. I really didn’t hear anything of his work except his bombastic “New York, New York” until I was in my early 30s, and then he finally got his chance to slide into my life. And actually I’m so glad he waited that long, because when he arrived I had lived long enough to recognize the nuances of his singing, and his nuances run a spellbinding range. Also, it’s a good thing I wasn’t born 20 or 30 years earlier than I was, because I probably would have been a totally swooning and lovestruck fan…and that kind of thing didn’t go over so well back then when the fan and the star were both guys. I find Sinatra intensely sexy, on the whole, and his swagger (which is part of the appeal) gets ample exposure on this album, whereas the more moody/reflective/tender side makes brief appearances…just enough to mesmerize the listener utterly and leave their jaw hanging slack in unconsiously registered empathy.

This album is particularly dazzling because it has not just plenty Frank but also Count Basie and his band, and that is some firepower.

His delivery of “One for My Baby” sends chills through my body and leaves me breathless, staring in awe at the speakers as Frank’s voice (which was so slickly humorous only minutes before) paralyzes me with its intense immediacy and intimacy that has me THERE where his character is singing…the actual setting of the recording and the presence of hundreds of audience members would be unimaginable if there weren’t the occasional clink of plates and cutlery and quiet coughs. That’s probably the most riveting recording on this album, but his cover of “Send in the Clowns” (included in the Reprise Collection) matched the effect, with all of the slightly-quavering repressed emotion of this track. “Angel Eyes” is similarly riveting, but the audience cuts in with the applause before it gets its proper dying-out moment.

“My body may be 50, but I’m 28.”

Frank’s standup routines are surprisingly funny, I mean REALLY funny and surprising for the context, but they’re also well-delivered and of course loaded with in-joke references.