Sunday, September 26, 2021

One of the masters …

… Frank Sinatra: Chairman of the Board and Boss of Bossa Nova - WSJ. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

As remarkable as their TV appearance was, it is their studio recordings (which have been collected on a two-CD set called “Francis Albert Sinatra/Antônio Carlos Jobim: The Complete Reprise Recordings”) that show them at their very best. Perhaps the finest is “Dindi,” for which Ray Gilbert wrote an English-language version whose romantic opening lines seize the ear: “Sky, so vast is the sky / With faraway clouds just wandering by. . . . / Wind that speaks to the leaves, / Telling stories that no one believes.” Sinatra sings them accompanied only by Jobim’s guitar, and the wide-eyed tenderness with which he gives voice to their ardor—he sounds like a much younger man—is unforgettable.

“My Way” or the Highway? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

 America wanted a song like “My Way,” and there was only one person who could sing it the way it needed to be sung. Perhaps the only surprise is that Sinatra didn’t actually compose it. “My Way” borrows the music of "Comme d'habitude," a French song with more conventional love lyrics. Paul Anka acquired the English adaptation rights, and wrote new lyrics—but with Sinatra specifically in mind. (Are you surprised?).

I never had a problem with Sinatra, probably because Ive been listening to him since I was little kid in the '40s. What was it Jack Kerouac — another fan — said of him, that he taught American singers how to singAmerican?


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