Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Sinatra and Jobim

One of my favourite YouTube clips. 1967 and Bossa Nova is ‘this exciting all new sound’, which is much more preferable to Sinatra than that that racket made by hippy revolutionaries. The feeling is that Frank’s had his fill of wild living so whilst the latest youthquake sends tremors around the world of pop culture, Sinatra can sit unperturbed, untouchable, as cool as you like in a wicker chair with Antonio Carlos Jobim to accompany him. The Voice, as rich as it would ever be, sings a medley from the new recording with Jobim, which proved to be amongst the greatest Sinatra ever made. The Voice, marinated in cigarette smoke and Jack Daniels, is beyond compare. He rolls the cigarette in his fingers, singing ‘Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars’, and lights it as Jobim takes over, brushing ash from his knees, later flicking it dismissively onto the small circular podium. To smoke in a TV studio was allowed then but now looks like an act of defiance, of rebellion against laws yet to be passed. They move into Irving Berlin’s ‘Change Partners’ dance with Sinatra is to never want to change partners again...the irresistible, seductive power of The Voice. Whenever skies look grey to me Sinatra’s take on Cole Porter’s ‘I Concentrate On You’ provides some kind of magical warmth, the glow of a perfect marriage between lyrics, music and The Voice. Tall, tanned, young and lovely, the girl from Ipanema doesn’t see Sinatra? It’s hard to imagine a girl not seeing him, yet Sinatra imbues the song with a sense that this really happened, just as he instils authenticity into every great song he sings.

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