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Frank Sinatra - A Man and His Music + Ella + Jobim

4.7 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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(Mar 09, 1999)
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$49.95 $13.59
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Editorial Reviews

For the second of his 1960s television specials, Frank Sinatra organized the show around the loose theme of "rhythm," and chose for his exploration two artists of impeccable credentials: the scat stylings and jazz-influenced delivery of Ella Fitzgerald and the quiet Latin groove of Brazilian bossa nova legend Antonio Carlos Jobim. The program combines beautiful ballads ("Ol' Man River," "Put Your Dreams Away") with brassy up-tempo tunes ("Day In, Day Out," "Get Me to the Church on Time"), though one medley includes some forgivable but hardly memorable attempts at contemporary pop, mixing snatches of "How High the Moon" with "Up, Up and Away," "Don't Cry Joe" with "Ode to Billy Joe." The show slows for a relaxed medley with Jobim, who accompanies a lounging, cigarette-smoking Sinatra with guitar and whispering backing vocals while the Voice drops his volume to an intimate conversational tone for "Change Partners," "I Concentrate on You," and Jobim's own "The Girl from Ipanema." Ella duets with Sinatra on two medleys (contributing a fabulous scat rendition of "Stomping at the Savoy"), solos on "Body and Soul," "It's All Right with Me" and "Don't Be That Way," and finally the two burn up the program with one final duet, a high octane, show-stopping performance of "The Lady Is a Tramp," with Nelson Riddle's orchestra driving the brass to keep up. --Sean Axmaker

Special Features

  • Songs include: Day In Day Out, Get Me To The Church On Time, What Now My Love?, Ol' Man River, Body & Soul (Ella), It's Alright With Me (Ella), Medley (With Ella): How High The Moon/Up Up & Away/Look Out for Jimmy Valentine/Theme to "Tony Rome"/Goody Goody/Don't Cry Joe/Ode to Billie Joe/Goin' Out of My Head, Medley (With Jobim): Change Partners/I Concentrate on You/The Girl from Ipanema, Medley (With Ella): The Song is You/They Can't Take That Away from Me/Stompin' at the Savoy/At Long Last Love, Don't Be That Way (Ella), The Lady Is A Tramp (Frank & Ella), and Put Your Dreams Away

Product Details

  • Actors: Ella Fitzgerald, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Frank Sinatra
  • Directors: Michael Pfleghar
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (PCM Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Off Roster
  • DVD Release Date: March 9, 1999
  • Run Time: 50 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305323550
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,181 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I have to admit I'm not an overly enthusiastic Sinatra fan myself, but he is certainly at his prime in this 1967 TV special. Nelson Riddle and His Orchestra are top notch as is Miss Ella in her solos and duets with Frank. The opening track "Day In, Day Out" featuring a lot of percussion instruments surrounding Frank is particularly memorable and full of drive.
The real reason I bought this DVD, however, was for the segment with Antonio Carlos Jobim. Frank and Antonio do a short medley of Jobim and Cole Porter-written songs (this segment of the show could and should have been MUCH longer) - but which medley unfortunately is credited to the arranging talents of Nelson Riddle - when in fact, the entire arrangement of all 4 Jobim and Porter songs played should have been attributed to Claus Ogerman. The arrangement of these four tunes can be heard note for note in the "Francis Albert Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim" 1967 LP (and now CD) on the Reprise label. Claus Ogerman arranged and conducted this entire album. Shortened versions of these four songs were only "lifted" from the album for this tv show. Antonio plays guitar chord changes in between the songs which make the 4 tunes flow effortlessly from one to the other. Nelson Riddle does a fine job arranging the music for the rest of the tv special, but I believe in giving credit where credit is due - and by no means did he arrange the Sinatra/Jobim part of the special.
Two of the very best albums Sinatra ever recorded were those with Jobim and I am glad that at least some of the material from one of these albums gets to shine on this tv special.
Of course, there are no words to describe Ella Fitzgerald's talent; every superlative about her singing has already been used many times over.
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Format: VHS Tape
This is probably the best of the 5 or 6 Sinatra television specials that have been released on video over the past 10 years or so. And that is true for one reason; those 15 or so minutes that Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, both still in their prime, show the world what could have been if only they'd followed through on those plans to make an album together.
The duets they sing togther, starting with "Goin' Out of My Head" and ending with "Lady Is a Tramp" are, quite simply, perfect. These are obviously two singers who love working together, one only wishes they did so more often. The closing rendition of "Lady Is A Tramp" ranks as one of the best moments in the history of American popular song ever captured on film; I'm just glad the camera's were there to capture it.
The duets with Jobim are great as well, but honestly, if you want to hear the Frank and Tom Jobim at their best, you need to go listen to the albums they made. The real treat on this video is Frank and Ella, and if you're a fan of either singer (or just a fan of good music in general), you need to do yourself a favor and pick this one up.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Well, I'm old enough to be able to say I miss musical variety television. Obviously we have larger venues of musical entertainment now thanks to cable, but in many ways the musical sources are startlingly different from thirty-six years ago. In 1967, a singer and an acoustic guitarist could sit down and knock out "Change Partners" and "Girl From Ipanema" (in two different languages, yet!!) and entertain a very gratified audience. This special, recently spotted on PBS, is one not to be missed: it features the Frank Sinatra of his Rat Pack/Mia Farrow days, perenially garbed in evening dress with martini and cigarette in hand, doing what he does best: singing with ease and grace. The ballads- from "Ol' Man River," "Put Your Dreams Away," and especially Cole Porter's "I Concentrate On You" are lovely. And if that wasn't enough, the special flows seamlessly from the charm of Antonio Carlos Jobim's guitar to the drop-dead elegance of Ella Fitzgerald, who appears with the host twice: first in a medley of 'modern-day' 60's songs (this is a time capsule onto itself) like "Goin' Out of My Head," "Ode to Billie Joe," and others; then reappears with Sinatra at the end of the hour to burn up some old standards: "They Can't Take That Away From Me," "At Long Last Love," "Stompin' At The Savoy," and the undisputed finale, the stunning call-and-response arrangement of "The Lady Is A Tramp." This song is nothing short of marvelous, for the simple reason that it shows the singers having a ball. Sinatra was very much in the cynical, pseudo-arrogant songster persona at this time, but when he takes the stage with Ella the mask of steel is completely melted away and he is visibly relaxed and jovial, even stopping to show admiration of her scatting improvisation. They clearly enjoy each other, and it shows. A glorious moment of live television that was never really matched again, but is captured on a very clear and sharp DVD.
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Format: DVD
With the exception of the first duet with Frank and Ella, which attempts to address the then-current pop culture (weak renditions of movie themes and chart busters) this video is a monster, one for the archives.
Frank comes out roaring on an updated arrangement of Day In, Day Out at a break-neck tempo, sings the bejesus out of it and working the stage like the zenith of an entertainer he was.
On Old Man River, right before the last verse, he holds a low G, then without taking a breath, slurs right into the verse. Perhaps even more impressive than this display of technical virtuosity is how he stays "in character" after the song ends. The audience is applauding like mad, and instead of acknowledging it, he still assumes the character in the song, a slave who is at his pain threshold. This is what seperated Sinatra from the other singers. He didn't need a six octave range to deliver. He simply studied the lyrics, digested what the writer wanted to say, and put himself in the first person.
Flexibility and diversity are present as he brings the belting down to a whisper to blend in with Jobim's soft bossa-ballads as well as bossa nova treatments of Cole Porter's "I Concentrate On You" and Berlin's "Change Partners". Ten minutes of magic here.
The finale is one for the archives. Frank is not reluctant to let Ella loose for some of her trademark scatting and more than holds his own "They Can't Take That Away". I think he even inspired Ella here, definitely a mutual-admiration society. "The Lady Is A Tramp' is not to be missed, complete with an intro not familiar to most. They pulled out all the stops, causing the studio audience to applaud long enough to trigger a reprise of the last verse and chorus.
To close the program, Sinatra remarks he can't remember an hour going by so quickly. He is sincere here. He brought top talent in and they all delivered.
This is entertainment bliss. Please don't miss it.
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