Sinatra Swings at the Royal Festival Hall

Sep. 5, 2017
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Frank Sinatra was still in his peak years, a couple decades before time began to collect its inevitable charges against his voice, at his 1962 concert in the Royal Festival Hall. Royalty was present, but all eyes were on the performer.

The concert was recorded and although the sound is occasionally wobbly and the visuals have the odd scratch, it’s an enjoyable historical document from one of the era’s defining musical artists. Sinatra easily handled a set of familiar songs as the near-cool tones of his backing combo, the Bill Miller Sextet, slightly tempered his urge to swing. As usual, Sinatra’s insouciance undermined the lush romanticism of some numbers through playing games with words and melodies, yet he waxed warmly and sensitively on “The Second Time Around” and “My Funny Valentine.”

The Royal Festival Hall (1962) & Live at Carnegie Hall (the latter recorded in 1980 just after the release of Sinatra’s acclaimed Trilogy album) have been released together on DVD.

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