"after viewing this DVD twice, i cannot but say, this is truly a gem. this represents the lost era of american pop music. in this age of rap and hard rock, the gentleness, the elegance, the 40 piece big band. a time when ladies wore night gown and gentlemen wore black tie to show like this.... no more. i encourage young people below 30 to watch this... to learn about a time when there was good manner, elegance. back to the DVD. sinatra may be a bit older but still sings great. gordon jenkins and don costa's big band (with string) provided superb support. also, to my surprise, i saw a few famous faces in the audience. i saw fred astaire, sammy davis jr. Lucy Ball plus many others i can't recall their names but know that they are movie stars of some sorts......"
Difficult to resist
Vincent T. Lynch | Colorado Springs, Colorado | 01/29/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, it is always difficult for me to resist peformances by Frank Sinatra. I always imagined I would dislike him, personally, but there is no question that he is one of the finest performers of his era.This television special is a must-have for any Sinatra buff. After all, it's from when he came out of retirement in front of an all-star audience.There's a very nice balance between what was new material from arguably his finest album (of the same title -- particularly including "You Will Be My Music", "Let Me Try Again", and "Send In The Clowns") and Sinatra standards (who can resist his joy in singing "I Get A Kick Out Of You", "I've Got You Under My Skin", or "I've Got The World On A String"). The saloon segment is typically sentimental Sinatra.The segment with Gene Kelly is great fun! Their personal pleasure in working together is quite evident, and the blend of flash-back scenes to the MGM years and their ability to still do a few dance steps is charming.The video quality is good for the era, but too bad it had not been recorded in stereo. However, it's difficult to imagine many people not enjoying this delightful trip into the past, and certainly one of the best television performances by a performer who didn't always shine in that medium."
Still Prime Frank
Lawrence E. LaRocco | Berwyn, Illinois | 07/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The highlight of this video is the wonderful routine between Frank and Gene Kelly. It makes you wonder why they didn't do an entire special instead of just the one segment. I strongly disagree with another reviewer who thinks that the Sinatra-Kelly segment is forced and contrived. The rapport between these two mega-stars is easy, relaxed and wonderful! Frank's voice is no longer quite the exquisite instrument it was in his Capitol days, but it has a world-weary, hard edge to it that perfectly complements an older, more reflective Sinatra. The musical highlight of this special is Frank's interpretation of " You Will Be My Music" which opens and closes the video. Not to be missed is "Ol' Blue Eyes" straight-from-the-heart rendition of "Let Me Try Again." It's capable of making you reach for that scotch and saying to yourself, " Yeah, that's exactly MY LIFE too!" And do not miss Frank's no frills version of "Send in the Clowns." I think you can almost make an argument that it's the definitive version of the song. So sit back and relax; have a scotch-on the- rocks (or several) and enjoy the entertainer of the century. And then go out and get the CD which is even better! The video and the CD perfectly complement each other and are essential purchases for any serious Sinatra-phile."
Better than ever!
Candace Scott | Lake Arrowhead, CA, USA | 07/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While it's true that Frank in 1973 didn't have the vocal range or exuberance from the Capitol years, his phrasing, intonation and presence were still wonderfully intact. His ability to convey emotion in a song is unsurpassed. I'm one of the few Sinatra fans who actually prefers his Reprise period and think his voice became more resonant, deeper and expressive as he aged. Certainly he couldn't sing as exquisitely as he had in 1955, but he added a world-weary pathos and life experience to his performances as he entered his sixth decade.The format of this performance is intimate and interesting; it's not just Frank swinging in front of an orchestra on stage. The camera does many close ups which capture Sinatra's ability to convey the meaning of a lyric not just in phrasing, but in facial expression. It's fascinating because we usually only hear Frank sing, we don't see him when listening to a record. The highlight has to be "Send in the Clowns," which is a bare-bones and nearly definitive interpretation of this song, which in 1973 was still brand new. Who else can bring such remarkable clarity and emotion when singing? No one!The segment with Gene Kelly is interesting and their chemistry is obvious. It's interesting to contrast how Kelly's dancing ability had radically declined and that Sinatra's vocal majestry hadn't diminished since their initial onscreen pairing in 1945.If you appreciate the older, more mature Sinatra, then by all means purchase this video. I've watched it several times and enjoy it immensely. It makes us wish there was someone today... anyone... who could sing like this amazing man."
An almost near classic
Stephan Mayer | sacramento, ca United States | 04/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Frank was back. Yes, he's older, a bit heavier and his voice perhaps is now only 75-80% of what it was in his hey day. BUT....his magic and skill of phrasing and interpretation is still intact and perhaps more mature and grand now. It would continue to grow even after 1973 and IMO peak out around 1980.
This program indeed provides you a good cross section of a) Sinatra, the swaggering swinger b) Sinatra, the lonely saloon singer c) Sinatra, the song and dance man with master Gene Kelly. d) Sinatra, the contemp and still relevant artist addressing contemporary material of the early 70s.
The highlights are the saloon medley arranged and conducted by Gordon Jenkins and SEND IN THE CLOWNS..also arranged by Jenkins. Sinatra sings from deep within the heart, the pain and the sadness...and you can feel it. The arrangements are superb and have the perfect amount of emotion like you would expect from Gordon Jenkins.
I am glad he came back cause in 1990 I got to see him. By that time, his status as legend was cemented for good.
OL'BLUE EYES came back, he left us in 1998 but HE'S with us through his songs."