Frank Sinatra - Sinatra at the Sands with Count Basie and His Orchestra (1966) - Rotten Tomatoes

Frank Sinatra - Sinatra at the Sands with Count Basie and His Orchestra (1966)

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This live recording from Las Vegas finds Sinatra fully in his element. An artist of his caliber certainly needs no contextualizing element in order to come across, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a better medium for Sinatra's message. Vegas in the '60s was a center of unabashed showmanship, slightly crass elegance, and a bourbon-drinking, dice-rolling, pre-boomer-generation sensibility--a perfect setting to bring Sinatra's music out of the abstract and into the realm of flesh and blood. At the Sands, the center of Vegas nightlife, Sinatra is the unchallenged king, and on this album he wears the crown with grace. And, naturally, he swings.Listen to his lengthy mid-set comedy monologue, where stories of drinking, gambling, dame trouble, and his Rat Pack cronies are shared with the audience in a kind of unspoken accord. Listen to his offhanded ribbing of Basie and his musicians, as if they were the Sunday-through-Wednesday house band. SINATRA AT THE SANDS is the sound of a man feeling his oats. For further proof, consult the Basie-powered versions of "One For My Baby," "My Kind Of Town" and "I've Got You Under My Skin."

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