June 2, 2015

#58: Sinatra plus Mandel equals excitement

Another reason to get your hands on Sinatra's first Reprise album, Ring-a-Ding-Ding! is "You And The Night And The Music," written in 1934 by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz:

Johnny Mandel's arrangement is terrific, and Frank, playing around with timing and emphasis, delivers a steamy, jazzy performance. His slightly delayed entry into the second chorus is very satisfying. Frank Sinatra, Jr., in the liner notes, comments:

The jazz feel is most present in the bridge of the song. The second time he reaches the line, "Take...away...the...stars...," Sinatra's great sense of time and swing proves that he was as much a jazz player as any of the greats in the orchestra.
There's no pause between "the" and "stars" but otherwise Frank, Jr., who was a teenager at the time and attended the recording sessions, is (of course) absolutely right about his father's ability to swing jazzily.

Will Friedwald dissects the rest:
At the end of the second chorus, he makes the melody more dramatic and brilliantly drives home the writers' original intention on the phrase "if we could live for the moment" by singing "if" and "live" on notes a fourth higher than the first time around. (Sinatra! The Song Is You, p 377)
If only we had one or two more albums arranged by Mr. Mandel! But I'm so grateful for the one we do have. 

Continue the Sinatra celebration with Mark Steyn, Bob Belvedere, and Ms. EBL

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