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Priceless Frank Footage

Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:41 pm

Raw, in the studio. Kinda breathtaking.

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rjm

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Re: Priceless Frank Footage

Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:17 pm

rjm wrote:Raw, in the studio. Kinda breathtaking.

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Frank captured at United Recorders Studio A, 6050 Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, on Thursday, April 22, 1965 -- orchestra conducted and arrangements by Gordon Jenkins.

Raw? Well, not totally raw. This is a segment from a TV news special, documenting Sinatra on the eve of his 50th birthday:

"Sinatra" - CBS News, Tuesday, November 16, 1965
http://www.paleyicollection.org/index/Detail/T:15408



651116_Pittsburgh Press p63.JPG
Pittsburgh Press, Tuesday, November 16, 1965



Much of it may be found on this VHS release:

Frank Sinatra: Off the Record
http://www.amazon.com/Frank-Sinatra-Off-Record-VHS/dp/B000009NNC
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Re: Priceless Frank Footage

Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:24 pm

Thanks, Doc! I must have missed that one on TV -- due to finger-painting-exhaustion . . . ;)

Anyhow, it's parboiled, at least compared to the faked "recording session" in EOT, or the few measly seconds of Dylan doing "It Takes A Lot To Laugh . . ." In "Don't Look Back." (Or "No Direction Home.")

That's what I meant: you see it straight through from rehearsal to a take to a listen-back. I loved it!

Plus, it's a magisterial performance. (I was looking for that song, because at midnight I will be another year older, and feeling . . . reflective.) And so then I stumbled upon this!

VHS? What a shame. I'll get it, and transfer it; it's good!

(I take issue with his "enunciation" complaint about "the kids," but he was still fairly generous. I think it was a kind of odd blindspot: the "kids"' singing came out of the blues, as did at least some of his fave music, and enunciation is just not all there is in vernacular music. And some "kids" enunciated beautifully. "In my life, I love you more" . . . etc.)

Interesting how he switches instantly from elegantly refined songmaster to slang-using Hoboken boy. In the snap of a finger! Ring-a-ding-ding.

Thanks, again, for the info! :D

rjm

Sent From My Phabulous Galaxy Note II Phablet Using Tapatalk 4
Last edited by rjm on Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Priceless Frank Footage

Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:46 pm

Done!

Image

Thank you so much!

rjm

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Re: Priceless Frank Footage

Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:30 pm

rjm wrote:Thanks, Doc! I must have missed that one on TV -- due to finger-painting-exhaustion . . . ;)

Anyhow, it's parboiled, at least compared to the faked "recording session" in EOT, or the few measly seconds of Dylan doing "It Takes A Lot To Laugh . . ." In "Don't Look Back."

That's what I meant: you see it straight through from rehearsal to a take to a listen-back. I loved it!

Plus, it's a magisterial performance. (I was looking for that song, because at midnight I will be another year older, and feeling . . . reflective.) And so then I stumbled upon this!

VHS? What a shame. I'll get it, and transfer it; it's good!

(I take issue with his "enunciation" complaint about "the kids," but he was still fairly generous. I think it was a kind of odd blindspot: the "kids"' singing came out of the blues, as did at least some of his fave music, and enunciation is just not all there is in vernacular music. And some "kids" enunciated beautifully. "In my life, I love you more" . . . etc.)

Interesting how he switches instantly from elegantly refined songmaster to slang-using Hoboken boy. In the snap of a finger! Ring-a-ding-ding.

Thanks, again, for the info! :D

rjm

Sent From My Phabulous Galaxy Note II Phablet Using Tapatalk 4


My pleasure. It's one of the great later Sinatra tracks, methinks.

You and Bruce Springsteen share a birthday. Have a happy!


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Re: Priceless Frank Footage

Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:33 pm

Yeah, Bruce and I do! (Different *year*!) "Hot da*n right!" You're the first - many thanks, John.

Best,
Robin

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Re: Priceless Frank Footage

Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:57 pm

Lovely post, rj, and thanks for the background info, John.

This is from my favouraite Sinatra Reprise LP and still the only one (in my opinion) that reaches the majestic heights of the Capitol run.

Great to see the artist at work in the studio.

Re: Priceless Frank Footage

Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:02 pm

Thanks, George, and I agree 100%! It was one of the first Sinatra albums I bought myself. (My folks had all the Capitol ones.)

rjm

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Re: Priceless Frank Footage

Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:36 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
rjm wrote:Thanks, Doc! I must have missed that one on TV -- due to finger-painting-exhaustion . . . ;)

Anyhow, it's parboiled, at least compared to the faked "recording session" in EOT, or the few measly seconds of Dylan doing "It Takes A Lot To Laugh . . ." In "Don't Look Back."

That's what I meant: you see it straight through from rehearsal to a take to a listen-back. I loved it!

Plus, it's a magisterial performance. (I was looking for that song, because at midnight I will be another year older, and feeling . . . reflective.) And so then I stumbled upon this!

VHS? What a shame. I'll get it, and transfer it; it's good!

(I take issue with his "enunciation" complaint about "the kids," but he was still fairly generous. I think it was a kind of odd blindspot: the "kids"' singing came out of the blues, as did at least some of his fave music, and enunciation is just not all there is in vernacular music. And some "kids" enunciated beautifully. "In my life, I love you more" . . . etc.)

Interesting how he switches instantly from elegantly refined songmaster to slang-using Hoboken boy. In the snap of a finger! Ring-a-ding-ding.

Thanks, again, for the info! :D

rjm

Sent From My Phabulous Galaxy Note II Phablet Using Tapatalk 4


My pleasure. It's one of the great later Sinatra tracks, methinks.

You and Bruce Springsteen share a birthday. Have a happy!


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It's hardly a "later" Sinatra track - he still had thirty years of recording and performances still in him and, from a professional recording point of view, wasn't even halfway through his career.

For whatever reason, the Reprise years are always looked at as secondary compared to the Capitol years, and it's true to say that the consistency wasn't there. However, for anyone willing to look beyond the obvious hits of That's Life, Strangers in the Night, theme from New York New York etc, there are many recordings within the Reprise era that are equal to the very best of those from the 1950s. It Was A Very Good Year is one of the better known ones. But anyone who has heard the 1981 album She Shot Me Down will realise that it is every bit as devastating as the Capitol torch albums, and even more remarkable in the fact that much of the material was brand new. His total reinvention of Bang Bang is absolutely stunning.

The Reprise years didn't find Sinatra simply trying to repeat past glories, but continually trying to expand upon them or find completely new ones. The 1970 album Watertown was a flop on release, but this wonderful song cycle is now widely recognised as one of Sinatra's greatest achievements, has a dedicated cult following and an extravagant website dedicated to it. The first album with Antonio Carlos Jobim in 1967 ranks in most people's list of Sinatra's greatest albums.

The Reprise Years also found Sinatra extending the jazz element in his work, not least with his albums with Count Basie and Duke Ellington, with the Ellington LP being possible the most under-rated of his career. But beyond these albums, Sinatra used more jazz phrasing during this period. In the early 1980s, approaching 70, he dispensed with the string section of his orchestra during performances and was swinging with more skill and determination than at any other time in his career. In 1967, he was at the helm of one of the greatest musical hours ever on television when he performed with Jobim and traded fours with Ella Fitzgerald in a glorious finale with Sinatra at his most joyous.

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And he was willing to take risks: a forty minute semi-classical work made up a third of 1979's Trilogy boxed set; a ten minute piano-only Porgy and Bess medley was included in a number of live performances in 1981-2; and the twelve-minute rendition of Soliloquy included on his final live album (recorded in 1987) is probably the best performance of this, one of his signature pieces.

As for the song that started this thread, It Was A Very Good Year, well even that studio recording wasn't Sinatra's most memorable rendition of the song. In his Emmy-award winning Tv special from 1965, he took the song and used it as the basis for a fourteen minute musical sequence telling a man's life in song. Sinatra wasn't just a great singer, he was a highly intelligent performer, and the amount of thought that went behind each album project and his mid-1960s and 1970s TV specials shows through very clearly.

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Sadly, Sinatra's Reprise years are mostly thought of as Sinatra selling out in some way for pop success (and there is some of that undoubtedly), but beyond that there are some truly stunning albums that the casual fan has mostly missed out on because they simply haven't been as available over the years. Now, they are all remastered and available on CD in lovely sound and just waiting to be rediscovered.

Re: Priceless Frank Footage

Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:56 pm

poormadpeter wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:My pleasure. It's one of the great later Sinatra tracks, methinks.

You and Bruce Springsteen share a birthday. Have a happy!


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It's hardly a "later" Sinatra track ...


Thanks for your opinion. Regardless, most will agree that Sinatra's work from 1965 on would be considered from his later years. And only a fool would argue that the recordings cut for Capital in the 1950s are not the apex of his artistry.

If you have any substantial thoughts on topic, do share them. We already know the facts about the clip, which is compelling, and that the OP and millions of others love the master take.

Re: Priceless Frank Footage

Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:58 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:My pleasure. It's one of the great later Sinatra tracks, methinks.

You and Bruce Springsteen share a birthday. Have a happy!


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It's hardly a "later" Sinatra track ...


Thanks for your opinion. Regardless, most will agree that Sinatra's work from 1965 on would be considered from his later years. And only a fool would argue that the recordings cut for Capital in the 1950s are not the apex of his artistry.

If you have any substantial thoughts on topic, do share them. We already know the facts about the clip, which is compelling, and that the OP and millions of others love the master take.


Perhaps I could ask you how many of the Reprise Sinatra albums you own? After all, "only a fool" would enter such an argument without having heard the many albums in question. ;)

Re: Priceless Frank Footage

Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:15 am

poormadpeter wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:Thanks for your opinion. Regardless, most will agree that Sinatra's work from 1965 on would be considered from his later years. And only a fool would argue that the recordings cut for Capital in the 1950s are not the apex of his artistry.

If you have any substantial thoughts on topic, do share them. We already know the facts about the clip, which is compelling, and that the OP and millions of others love the master take.


Perhaps I could ask you how many of the Reprise Sinatra albums you own? After all, "only a fool" would enter such an argument without having heard the many albums in question. ;)

Re: Priceless Frank Footage

Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:22 am

After viewing the 14-minute song-operetta, I prefer the master. It's maybe just a tad on the pretentious side, although I do like each of the included songs very much.

Elvis' "road medley" was just as moving, if not quite so middle-brow. Matter of taste, I suppose. I love Sinatra, understand, but sometimes he maybe took himself a bit too seriously.

In other words, he advertised his intelligence. Whereas as Elvis generally puts himself down. Nothing wrong with tooting your own horn, of course, but I prefer the beauty of the master recordings. Which is why a look inside that session is so great!

Does one have to sing a song as the writer (might have) intended, if one is not the writer? Or is singing a part of the "writing" of the performance as a whole?

rjm
P.S. -- "No fightin' in the war room!" ;)

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Re: Priceless Frank Footage

Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:01 am

rjm wrote:After viewing the 14-minute song-operetta, I prefer the master. It's maybe just a tad on the pretentious side, although I do like each of the included songs very much.

Elvis' "road medley" was just as moving, if not quite so middle-brow. Matter of taste, I suppose. I love Sinatra, understand, but sometimes he maybe took himself a bit too seriously.

In other words, he advertised his intelligence. Whereas as Elvis generally puts himself down. Nothing wrong with tooting your own horn, of course, but I prefer the beauty of the master recordings. Which is why a look inside that session is so great!

Does one have to sing a song as the writer (might have) intended, if one is not the writer? Or is singing a part of the "writing" of the performance as a whole?

rjm
P.S. -- "No fightin' in the war room!" ;)

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Well, Sinatra rarely sang the song as intended - It Was A Very Good Year was a faux-folk song originally, for example. And he would take ballads and swing them, and vice versa. And, like Elvis, the lyrics often got churned up and spat out in the process. Sinatra might have not had a jazz voice particularly, but his mind seemed to work in that way - what was why he could record the same thing five, six or seven times in the studio (as he did with Night and Day) over his career and it didn't matter because the song came out fresh each time.

As for whether the 14 minute version is pretentious or not - it really is just an extension of what occurs on Elvis Country with I Was Born About 10,000 Years Ago, except that Sinatra creates meaning with his linking snippets, while Elvis Country simply creates effect.
Last edited by poormadpeter on Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Priceless Frank Footage

Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:06 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:Thanks for your opinion. Regardless, most will agree that Sinatra's work from 1965 on would be considered from his later years. And only a fool would argue that the recordings cut for Capital in the 1950s are not the apex of his artistry.

If you have any substantial thoughts on topic, do share them. We already know the facts about the clip, which is compelling, and that the OP and millions of others love the master take.


Perhaps I could ask you how many of the Reprise Sinatra albums you own? After all, "only a fool" would enter such an argument without having heard the many albums in question. ;)


nice of you to avoid my question, which only reiterates the differences between us. One of us has our own opinions and thoughts, the other trusts the critics.

Re: Priceless Frank Footage

Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:23 am

rjm wrote:After viewing the 14-minute song-operetta, I prefer the master.


Are you a critic? Should I trust you? ;-)

Re: Priceless Frank Footage

Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:04 am

Thanks rjm.

I agree, "breathtaking" and sad how life runs away from us too quickly, we need to grab it with both hands and hang on.

There is something so soothing about Frank's rendition of this song, brings back memories of my grandparent's listening to this music, and how much I loved, as a little girl, listening, in their company.

Re: Priceless Frank Footage

Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:54 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
rjm wrote:After viewing the 14-minute song-operetta, I prefer the master.


Are you a critic? Should I trust you? ;-)


Me? DEFINITELY! To questions one and two. ;)

rjm
P.S. -- I really was. Various publications. In 1981, after college, I announced to my parents that I would have a *career* as "a rock critic."
The response to this notion was NOT GOOD! Not good at all . . .

LOL!

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Re: Priceless Frank Footage

Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:09 pm

Thanks, everyone, for a great topic!

Re: Priceless Frank Footage

Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:53 am

It's really a fabulous track and one I never tire of hearing.

Re: Priceless Frank Footage

Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:00 am

Thanks for posting this clip Robin! ,priceless indeed,always a pleasure to watch a legend at work
Thanks John for the additional info

Re: Priceless Frank Footage

Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:18 am

Im no critic ,but I do like this duet with Willie Nelson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrTkXDFWaQo

Re: Priceless Frank Footage

Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:30 pm

I'm a bit late contributing to this thread, but I can only agree that the footage of Sinatra recording A Very Good Year is truly captivating. The CBS special, in which this was originally seen, is a superb document of Sinatra at work and at play. It's crying out for a DVD release, as is hours of great footage that's waiting on copyright approval, or opportunity to be appropriately used. A more complete view of Sinatra in the studio can be found on the excellent documentary, Portrait of an Album, which details the making of Frank's terrific 1984 album, L.A. Is My Lady. This is also languishing on VHS, unfortunately, but occasionally turns up on YouTube. Hopefully, a 30th anniversary reissue of the album will include this special on DVD/Blu-ray. With Sinatra on excellent form, Quincy Jones conducting with aplomb and one of the most incredible bands ever assembled, this is a joy to watch. Michael Jackson also makes an appearance. And Q mentions Elvis in the process.

Re: Priceless Frank Footage

Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:09 pm

keninlincs wrote:Im no critic ,but I do like this duet with Willie Nelson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrTkXDFWaQo


George and Ira Gershwin's A Foggy Day is truly a classic song, and one that Frank sang and recorded several times. His duet with Willie, on Duets 2, is one of that album's highlights, although, it's a shame they didn't work more often together beforehand. Frank and Willie co-headlined what was scheduled to be a week of shows in June, 1984, at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas. Frank took ill after the first night, but opened for Willie, in a sense, having chosen to take the stage first. They also done those PSA's for space technology, and seemed to have great chemistry together. More than a few of Willie's songs would have suited Sinatra, whilst Willie, like John Denver, loved traditional pop and standards from the Great American Song Book. Sinatra's collaborations with Denver were a real joy, and I can only imagine that something similar with Willie would have offered the same riches.

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