Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010

Sinatra’s Big Concert

By David Luhrssen
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Frank Sinatra was in good form, taking the stage with cavalier’s ease. It was 1982 and the Chairman of the Board was still only 66 and trekking around the world from stadium to arena. His show at the Altos de Chavon Ampitheatre in the Dominican Republic was taped and has been released on DVD as Concert for the Americas in honor of Sinatra’s birthday this month. He would have been 95.


At the time of his early ‘80s world tour, Sinatra could still sustain notes with remarkable facility and wring a range of emotions from every word he sang. By then, his voice had lost much of its incredible lightness and leaned on the lower registers. But he clearly enjoyed himself that night in the grotto-like amphitheater, bringing his classy and time-tested Las Vegas show to the Caribbean. Occasionally, he stepped back and allowed an orchestra member to take a solo. Sinatra even exited altogether to allow drummer Buddy Rich, still a wild man on the sticks, to fill the spotlight for a dynamic rendition of “The Jets Song” from West Side Story.

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