There is, of course, more to be said about Frank Sinatra than would fit
on this or a stack of album jackets. He is the best popular male singer
since the discovery of syncopation. He is almost beyond challenge as the
pre-eminent American entertainer of his times.
His admirers now span all the age groups. But I suspect that the heart
(and soul) of his audience consists of those of us who go all the way
back with him, back to the near-anonymity of the Dorsey days and those
Saturday afternoon remotes from Frank Daley's Meadowbrook, and the swoonings
and the wall-to-wall lapels.
And what remains unique about Sinatra is the way in which his own seasons
have continued to match those of his audience. The surpassingly romantic
and idealistic early Sinatra, I mean, was just right for our young years.
He provided the sound-track for our most optimistic dreams
Then, after a period in which it could be said that he and we were all
preoccupied, there was suddenly a new Sinatra. The unmatched gifts of
timing and phrasing and the respect for the lyrics were unchanged or had
become richer. But there was something else, a new maturity.
The romantic idealism had been tempered with bittersweet wisdom, which
did not, however, go all the way to cynicism. The same lyrics to the same
songs now had some new, wry overtones. Forever after had been redefined
as maybe until the middle of next week if it still makes sense to both
of us. What stayed unchanged was the unshakeable joie de vivre.
Still later, in what I think of as the "September of My Years"
period, a new mood crept into Sinatra's work, a mellow nostalgia for all
the pleasures which life had provided along with the cinders in the eye
and the loves who went away, a deeper wisdom, a warmer appreciation for
present and remembered joys.
It was a time when Frank - and all of us - found a new sovor in life.
Neither he nor we were ready for pipe, shawl and slippers, and only a
downbeat away from the autumnal songs were all manner of uptempo and rockin'
To listen to Sinatra here, today, is to be reminded all over again that,
among all the things which are true about him, one is that he holds title
to more of our musical memories than anybody else. Also, that if he is
made to seem like the last angry man from time to time, what he really
is in a special sense is the last passionate man. The emotions he conveys
may or may not be, in the nature of things, complex, but they are powerful
and persistent and widely-shared.
It comes clear, always, that singing a song superbly is a matter of passionate
importance to Sinatra. He communicates not only the emotional sense of
a song but a kind of overlay which is his own evident and ebullient delight
in being able to do it uniquely well.
With Sinatra there is always a special awareness that the private man,
the private experience, has infused the material with a further range
of meaning and overtone. And there is always, also, that remarkable sense
of the inseparability of his own history and our own, the way in which,
from the beginning, his cycles have, in different magnitudes, confirmed
The present album is Sinatra of these current vintage years, assured
and compassionate, mellow but vigorous, transmuting pleasant if largely
unfamiliar material into something special and unmistakeable.
But what is most extraordinary is that, these many seasons later, Mr.
Sinatra is still providing the sound-tracks of our very best moments.
Charles Champlin, Los Angeles Times
Sinatra & Company (1971)
Drinking Water (Aqua de Beber)
Someone To Light Up My Life
Don't Ever Go Away (Por Causa de Voce)
This Happy Madness (Estrada Branca)
One Note Samba (Samba de Uma Nota So)
I Will Drink The Wine
Close To You
Sunrise In The Morning
My Sweet Lady
Leaving On A Jet Plane
& Company from Amazon.co.uk.