DVD Review: Frank Sinatra – Concert For The Americas

Shout Factory | 1982 | 86 mins. | NR

Frank Sinatra needs little introduction. Considered by many to be the first modern superstar, since the 1940’s he has been one of the biggest selling recording artists since the 1940’s. Beyond that, Sinatra is an Academy Award winning actor who was part of several films—From Here to Eternity, The Man with the Golden Arm, and The Manchurian Candidate—that are an important part of American film history.

Frank Sinatra’s concerts were events. The Concert for the Americas was recorded in 1982 at the Altos de Chavón Amphitheater in the Dominican Republic. Though Ol’ Blue Eyes was approaching 70 years old at the time, this is still a thrill to watch. While his voice was past its prime, Sinatra still possessed the swagger fans expected.

Frank Sinatra - Concert For The AmericasJoined by the Buddy Rich Orchestra, featuring drummer Buddy Rich and guitarist Tony Mottola, Here is the setlist:

• “I’ve Got the World on a String”
• “I Get a Kick Out of You”
• “Come Rain or Come Shine”
• “When Your Lover Has Gone”
• “The Lady is a Tramp”
• “The House I Live In”
• “Prologue-Jet Song” (with Buddy Rich)
• “Searching”
• “My Kind of Town”
• “Something”
• “The Best Is Yet to Come”
• “Strangers in the Night”
• “All or Nothing at All”
• “The Gal That Got Away/It Never Entered My Mind”
• “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”
• “Send in the Clowns” (with Tony Mottola)
• “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (Corcovado)” (with Tony Mottola)
• “I Won’t Dance”
• “Theme from New York, New York”

Sinatra had announced his retirement in 1971, only to return two years later. By 1982, Frank’s voice had lost some of its silkiness, but in its place was an enjoyable maturity. He is able to take decade’s old songs such as, “The Gal That Got Away” and “Strangers in the Night” and give them a new, interesting flavor. Not to be outdone, Sinatra shows his usual smoothness and flair on “My Kind of Town” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” Concert for the Americas is probably the best Frank Sinatra concert available on DVD. Having seen quite a few, this one encompasses all his styles very well.

The guest appearances are also impressive. Though Rich’s orchestra provides the musical backing, Buddy plays on only one number, his instrumental showcase “The Jet Song.” Nonetheless, he proves why he’s one of the most revered drummers in musical history, pounding harder than anyone this side of Keith Moon (who frequently cited Rich as his favorite drummer). Tony Mottola’s elegant guitar playing is wonderful. The gorgeous version of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Corcovado” that he and Sinatra do together is quite possibly the concert’s high point.

Frank Sinatra fans will definitely want to add Concert For the Americas to their DVD collections.

Shout Factory has done a great job bringing this concert to DVD. Though the show was originally shot on video, it doesn’t look grainy or washed out. Presented in fullscreen, the transfer looks very vivid for something nearly thirty years old.

The 5.1 surround mix is great. It makes the orchestra sound as full and rich as possible, but it also highlights Sinatra’s vocals at all times.

There are no extras.

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