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Frank Sinatra at the Monte Carlo Sporting Club

Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:36 pm

Just released on CD, courtesy of the Get Rhythm label, this 1958 concert marked the first time Frank Sinatra and Quincy Jones worked together. Jones having been an arranger and conductor at Nicole and Eddie Barclay's record company in Paris when Sinatra courted his services. Held on June 14th at the request of Princess Grace, proceeds from the event benefited the United Nations Fund for Refugee Children. Noel Coward served as master of ceremonies for what was Sinatra's first concert in Europe since 1953.

Preceding the concert was the world premiere of Frank's most recent film, Kings Go Forth. Produced by Frank Ross for United Artists and directed by Delmer Daves, Kings Go Forth co-starred Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood and was shot on location in France during February of 1958. Boris Karloff was Frank's acting coach during filming.

The concert features Sinatra on stellar form, entering the stage to Elmer Bernstein's classic theme from The Man With the Golden Arm and continuing through thirteen songs, including the rarely performed Monique (this may be the sole live version), which was written by Sammy Cahn and features Elmer Bernstein's theme from Kings Go Forth -- Monique, the name of Natalie Wood's character in the film, had just been recorded by Sinatra on June 29th. The song doesn't feature in the film, itself.

Get Rhythm's CD release draws from the Italian radio broadcast of the concert and isn't of a quality comparable with shows from the era that were professionally recorded and intended for commercial release. However, it's more than listenable, with the orchestra and Sinatra audible and clear.

Featured within the insert and on the cover are pre-show photos of Sinatra rehearsing with the orchestra at the Sporting Club. There are no liner notes and like previous releases of this concert, the tape fades after an impromptu You Make Me Feel So Young -- bringing the listening experience to an abrupt end. Still, this remains the most complete representation of a brilliant show recorded during a rich period for Frank Sinatra.

Track listing:

. Introduction by Noel Coward
. Come Fly With Me
. I Get a Kick Out of You
. I've Got You Under My Skin
. Where or When
. Moonlight in Vermont
. The Road to Mandalay
. Your Lover Has Gone
. April in Paris
. All the Way
. Monique
. Bewitched
. The Lady is a Tramp
. You Make Me Feel So Young


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Re: Frank Sinatra at the Monte Carlo Sporting Club

Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:04 am

This show was released semi-legally on John Ridgeway's JRR CD lable back in the early 1990s. Do you know how the sound compares with that version, greystoke? Or did you not have that earlier release? It's been released since then on a couple of occasions - and has been available through itunes for some time, but the sound has always seemed worse rather than better. The standout from the show is probably the beautiful ballad rendition of Where Or When, which is totally stunning.

Re: Frank Sinatra at the Monte Carlo Sporting Club

Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:17 am

poormadpeter wrote:This show was released semi-legally on John Ridgeway's JRR CD lable back in the early 1990s.  Do you know how the sound compares with that version, greystoke?  Or did you not have that earlier release?  It's been released since then on a couple of occasions - and has been available through itunes for some time, but the sound has always seemed worse rather than better.  The standout from the show is probably the beautiful ballad rendition of Where Or When, which is totally stunning.


It doesn't necessarily sound better, but fuller and a bit more clear than the JRR release. I also made a comparison between the new release and the sole officially released track from this show, The Road to Mandalay, as found on the CD included with The Sinatra Treasures. Again, the new release sounds fuller, but not necessarily better -- which makes me think that we have as good as this show will sound. Which is more than Ok for me -- especially when one considers the quality of the performances. Where or When being an absolute highlight, as you mentioned, PMP.

Re: Frank Sinatra at the Monte Carlo Sporting Club

Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:46 am

greystoke wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:This show was released semi-legally on John Ridgeway's JRR CD lable back in the early 1990s.  Do you know how the sound compares with that version, greystoke?  Or did you not have that earlier release?  It's been released since then on a couple of occasions - and has been available through itunes for some time, but the sound has always seemed worse rather than better.  The standout from the show is probably the beautiful ballad rendition of Where Or When, which is totally stunning.


It doesn't necessarily sound better, but fuller and a bit more clear than the JRR release. I also made a comparison between the new release and the sole officially released track from this show, The Road to Mandalay, as found on the CD included with The Sinatra Treasures. Again, the new release sounds fuller, but not necessarily better -- which makes me think that we have as good as this show will sound. Which is more than Ok for me -- especially when one considers the quality of the performances. Where or When being an absolute highlight, as you mentioned, PMP.


"Where Or When" is simply amazing at this show, and I've always been fascinated by the performance of "Monique", seeing as it was still unreleased at the time and was destined for b-side obscurity.

Of course his Capitol studio version of "Where Or When" was bound for an even worse fate, not being issued until the 1970s.

I still enjoy the JRR release, I've skipped previous reissues of it, may pick this up to see what you mean by 'fuller'.