'The Concert Sinatra' applies state-of-art technology

Article Contributed by conqueroo | Published on Monday, December 12, 2011

Concord Records has seamlessly taken existing multi-channel recordings from the early 1960s and applied state-of-the-art, 21st-century digital technology for the reissue of The Concert Sinatra, one of the most technically ambitious and musically innovative recordings of Frank Sinatra’s career. Under license from Frank Sinatra Enterprises (FSE), the album is set for release on January 17, 2012. This reissue represents a perfect marriage of technological and artistic innovation by harnessing the combined brilliance of Sinatra’s timeless voice, Nelson Riddle’s legendary arrangements, and some of the finest songs to emerge from the Broadway tradition. It all comes together via a recording process that was well ahead of its time in the 1960s, and has been further enhanced by modern-day digital remastering technology. When The Concert Sinatra was recorded in February 1963, multi-track master tape machines were not yet a reality in the recording studio. In order to facilitate the sound mixing advantage of multiple channels of audio, The Concert Sinatra was recorded on a motion picture scoring stage with the use of multiple synchronized recording machines that employed 35mm magnetic film. This master recording has not been used in any re-release of The Concert Sinatra since the original sound mix was prepared nearly 50 years ago. Producers located the original film canisters where the masters had been stored for nearly a half-century. Despite considerable degradation over time, a team of engineering experts, led by Frank Sinatra, Jr., used contemporary digital recording technology delivered a completely new sound mix for the 2012 re-release. “What is the difference between performing a show ballad on the Broadway stage and performing it in a concert auditorium? Considerable. No better illustration could be found than this album,” according to the late Raymond V. Pepe, president of the Institute of High Fidelity who wrote a side note to the 1963 release of The Concert Sinatra. “The voice of Frank Sinatra, the arrangements of Nelson Riddle, the selection of material — all these we think we know. Even the combination of these elements contains no surprises. Or so we think. And then we listen and we hear a new Sinatra, set to some of the purest arrangements we have ever heard. And suddenly several well-known songs become not so well known at all.” Frank Sinatra Jr., an accomplished singer and songwriter in his own right — and the conductor and musical director for his father in the later years of his career — contributes new liner notes and a personal perspective to the reissue of The Concert Sinatra. “If you have had this magnificent album in the past,” writes the younger Sinatra, “and compare the orchestral content of previous releases to this new rendering, you will undoubtedly notice the amount of music, originally recorded on the master film that was never present before. Listening to other parts of Nelson Riddle’s classic orchestrations, never before heard on record, was indeed an experience for me.” TRACK LISTI Have DreamedMY Heart Stood StillLost in the StarsOl’ Man RiverYou’ll Never Walk AloneBewitchedThis Nearly Was MineSoliloquy BONUS TRACKS (not on original LP):CaliforniaAmerica, The Beautiful