Unreleased until 1997, these tapes were recorded during two stops on Sinatra's brief Australian tour of 1959, during which he was backed by the quintet of jazz vibraphonist Red Norvo. The 16-song set list (including "I Get... more » a Kick Out of You," "One for My Baby," and a truly inspired version of "Night and Day") is prime Sinatra, and the Chairman is obviously enjoying his easy rapport with the Melbourne audience and the swinging playing of the Norvo Quintet. It's a rare delight to hear the Sinatra of this period singing in front of a stripped-down jazz combo. The overall sound is a little muddy, but most Sinatra aficionados will be so enthralled by the performances that they won't even notice or care. --Dan Epstein« less
Unreleased until 1997, these tapes were recorded during two stops on Sinatra's brief Australian tour of 1959, during which he was backed by the quintet of jazz vibraphonist Red Norvo. The 16-song set list (including "I Get a Kick Out of You," "One for My Baby," and a truly inspired version of "Night and Day") is prime Sinatra, and the Chairman is obviously enjoying his easy rapport with the Melbourne audience and the swinging playing of the Norvo Quintet. It's a rare delight to hear the Sinatra of this period singing in front of a stripped-down jazz combo. The overall sound is a little muddy, but most Sinatra aficionados will be so enthralled by the performances that they won't even notice or care. --Dan Epstein
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 06/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Too many evaluations of Sinatra focus on the persona and voice at the expense of the musican. In fact, the orchestral arrangements that Sinatra inspires are occasionally used to his discredit, as if to suggest that anyone could sound good singing to a Nelson Riddle arrangement. This rare album should make it clearer than ever that Sinatra's musicianship has no equal. His "internal metronome" almost unerringly places every note on the part of the beat where it's guaranteed to swing. In fact, on "Night and Day," in particular, he uses his voice as a jazz instrumentalist, trading phrases with Red Norvo's vibes. No listener can fail to catch who gets the best of the exchange (there's even an audible "smile" in Sinatra's voice when he upstages Norvo). This album may not belong in a Sinatra collector's top 3, but definitely in the top 10 if not 5 Sinatra treasures."
Sinatras night of jazz
ageofanxiety | usa | 06/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this is undoubtedly the best recording of sinatra live as youre going to get.
no, i dont mean in recorded sound which it looks like a lot of people are complaining about(just because its not not hi fi dolby 5.0 it doesnt hurt my speakers) but in sheer performance.
sinatra really wasnt a jazz musicican. but this was the one exception. his improvisation is a delight here and its a shame we didnt get more of this.
youll never here a better performed night and day. and even sinatras old standards like ive got you under my skin and i get a kick out of you have new life here.
only willow weep for me falters a bit. this is a songe better performed in a studio with the clarity of pop acoustics.
regardless, this makes for a really fun night of listening."
A man at his very best
David A. Reitzes | Wilmington, DE United States | 12/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the 1950s, Frank Sinatra's days as "The Voice" of World War II were little more than a memory. By 1954 Sinatra had proven himself an artist of substance and depth with recordings like "Young at Heart" and the extended-play album, SONGS FOR YOUNG LOVERS. By '56, with the help of arranger Nelson Riddle, he had firmly established his own brand of swingin' romanticism with a series of groundbreaking Capitol LPs, most notably SONGS FOR SWINGIN' LOVERS (1956) and IN THE WEE SMALL HOURS (1955). In '58 he recorded the most deeply moving album of his career, SINATRA SINGS FOR ONLY THE LONELY, and followed it immediately with COME DANCE WITH ME, arguably the headiest, hardest-swinging set he'd ever wax -- proving that even into his fifth decade, he could make music as pulse-quickening as that of any rock 'n' roller. By the evening of April 1, 1959, he had nothing left to prove.Entering with "I Could Have Danced All Night," Sinatra moves with the melody, responding to its most nuanced suggestions. He leads one moment, then lets the rhythm guide him the next. He may linger behind the beat ("spread my wings") or move in tandem with it ("I on-ly know"). Cole Porter's "I Get a Kick Out of You" finds him torn between reserve and abandon, less singing than musing out loud, as if the words are just now occurring to him. By the time he swings into "I've Got You Under My Skin," caution has been thrown to the wind; he soars above the tune, like Fred Astaire dancing on air. It hardly matters that "Moonlight in Vermont" could have been cribbed from a Chamber of Commerce brochure; this reverent performance conjures up genuine moonbeams and the unmistakable crispness of a snowy night. And when the singer taxies down the runway for "Come Fly with Me," his flight comes so easily, an airplane could only be superfluous. When he and Red Norvo's understated, gently swinging quintet have taken things as far as they can, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra appears, bringing the event to a boil.Whatever it is about this particular evening, whether it's his unusually intimate musical accompaniment, the warmth of his Australian hosts, or simply some exceptionally fine pre-show cocktails, Sinatra sounds so relaxed and so elegantly, unerringly sure of his step, he can practically do no wrong. His performance on this recording achieves something far beyond swing, far beyond nostalgic evocations of romance. It encapsulates everything that is good and warm and decent and caring about, not merely music, but masculinity. There's no aggression here, merely strength. There's no sentimentality, merely vulnerability. There's humor without vulgarity (well, for the most part) and intelligence without pretense. The singer's romanticism never loses touch with reality, just as a slight edge of cynicism never threatens to betray the idealism of his sound. LIVE IN AUSTRALIA isn't just an extraordinary musical document of a musical master at a creative peak; it's a digitally encoded facsimile of all the best qualities to which a man can aspire."
Hammock+FFOpusX+Glenlivit 12+Live In Australia, 1959=Heaven
Skip Martin | Chicago, 'My Kind Of Town (Reprise)'! | 05/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Wine, Women and Song all get better with age" I am not so sure about the wine, but scotch, definitely. Broads? I am just beginning to understand. Song, if you don't believe it...you haven't experienced this album. Sinatra definitely "Swings like a mother on this remarkable concert".I came across the remastered version of this recording in my 'Blue Note Period'. To be honest, I wasn't a big Sinatra fan. I kinda dug some of his pop tunes, but had never gotten into his work to any degree of depth. I had just had dinner at Gibson's here in the Windy City and crossed over to Gilly Rizzo's on Oak Street. For those of you who know much about Frank, you will recall Gilly was his constant companion and one of his closest confidants. The bar that bears his name is a swingin' juke joint with lots of cigar smoke and, always, an excellent piano set belting out all of Frank's tunes. At Gilly's I met a man that steered me on to this record. After wearing out Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue, I went looking for more of the same. The most notable thing about this album is the liner notes from Will Friedwald. They paint a picture of the time, the place and the man. So much of Sinatra's work had been thrown into cheesey duet albums and commercial compulations, that I knew very little about the man and his music.Background, like that which explains that four of the nineteen cuts were recorded the night prior to this performance, and why they were included vs. the full set. A commentary on the crowd discussion and spots like 'Get your hand off that broad!' add a layer of depth rarely found in todays recordings.The sound, in my assessment, is an asset. Friedwald explains the history of the recording, and it is a near miricle that what is presented was salvaged at all. The raspy hiss of the vinyl and ticks add a depth of character, almost like a small, almost unnoticeable scar on a beautiful woman's chin. I agree that "the Melbourne performances constitute some of the most remarkable concerts..." of Sinatra's career and that "by default, they are among the greatest nights of music ever".I urge anyone that has ever truly felt the timber of a soulful performance come across in a recording, to find a cool, dry place to experience this masterpiece.BlueHabana@aol.com"
Don't listen to the purists!
Danny P. | The Big Apple, New York, NY | 03/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"All these audiophiles are whining about the imperfect re-recording of this CD. They are correct, it was not done perfectly. Does that take away from Sinatra's sync with the Red Norvo Quintet, or his ease and warmth with the Australian audience, or the fun he was obviously having? No! If you love a good concert, you will be oblivious to the slight imperfections by the second song. Don't be a whiner, take in the energy, this is a wonderful CD."