Frank Sinatra-Man and His Music, The (with the Count Basie Orchestra) (1981)

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Released 21-Jan-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Notes-Catalogue
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1981
Running Time 49:17
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Clark Jones
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Frank Sinatra
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $34.95 Music Don Costa


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
German
Spanish
Italian
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, credits roll over last track

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    This DVD is part of a series of ten Sinatra DVDs that Warner Vision have released. This particular DVD features Frank Sinatra performing in a US made-for-television special, offering the rare treat of seeing Sinatra perform with 'special guest', Count Basie and his Orchestra.

    Along with Duke Ellington, Basie was a leading figure in jazz's swing era. He recorded and performed with Sinatra many times, and the two performing together with a big band are far greater than the sum of their parts. When you combine Sinatra's voice with the swinging power of Count Basie's Orchestra, the results are simply phenomenal. Throw in tunes composed by Cole Porter and Stephen Sondheim, with arrangements by Quincy Jones, Nelson Riddle and Gordon Jenkins, and prepare to experience the electrifying power of big band jazz at its finest.

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Track Listing

1. Introduction / Nice 'N' Easy
2. The One I Love Belongs To Somebody
3. Pennies From Heaven
4. I Loved Her
5. The Girl From Ipanema
6. At Long Last Love
7. Something
8. Monday Morning Quarterback
9. The Best Is Yet To Come
10. (We Had A) Good Thing Going
11. Say Hello
12. I Get A Kick Out Of You
13. Theme From New York, New York
14. Thanks For The Memory

Transfer Quality

Video

    Any transfer is limited by the source material. The source material here is fairly representative of mid 1960s American television. For its age, it is in reasonable condition, but there is frequent ghosting, for example at 29:02 and 38:37, and throughout Tracks 10 and 14 the picture 'twitches' slightly. 

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, full frame, non-16x9 enhanced.    

    The image is generally very clear and sharp throughout, but the image does become blurry or soft on occasion, for example at 26:11 and 33:08. Occasionally it is just the background that becomes very soft, such as at 37:25. The shadow detail is below average throughout, and there is some low level noise on occasion, for example at 14:20 and 34:50.   

    The colour is reasonable, although it is obviously a little faded with age. For example, Sinatra's trademark red silk handkerchief in his jacket pocket almost looks orange. There is also slight colour bleeding on occasion, for example at 25:41.

    There are a few MPEG artefacts present, but at times it is hard to separate them from problems with the source material. At times, the transfer displays slight pixelization, for example at 23:20 and 28:43, whereas close-ups of Frank's face sometimes reveal slight posterization, such as at 11:28.

    There were no film to video, or film artefacts of note, but a series of white flecks do appear randomly on-screen during New York, New York.

    All the subtitles promised on the packaging are present. The non-English subtitles only appear during the spoken passages, but the English subtitles display the song lyrics during Frank's performance. The English subtitles were accurate.

    This is a single-layered disc which is acceptable considering the length of the material.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There is only one audio track on this DVD, an English PCM track adapted from the original mono source. Fortunately, there is none of the heavy background hiss often apparent in mono tracks of this vintage. The audio also has a surprisingly full, rich sound and great dynamic range.

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are excellent. Frank's voice effortlessly soars, the lyrics are crystal clear, and his unique phrasing sits well in the audio mix. Apart from singing, there is also a bit of Frank's banter in between tracks.

    In regards to the music, some of the great songwriters and arrangers' work are on display here. The music spans the Sinatra gamut: Listeners will be tenderly embraced by the strings of Nelson Riddle's arrangement of George Harrison's Something, and blown away by the brassy power of Don Costa's arrangement of Fred Ebb and John Kander's love song to the city that never sleeps, New York, New York. Other highlights include Sinatra performing the Girl From Ipanema accompanied to bossanova perfection by the masterful Tony Mottola on guitar; Sinatra and Basie performing Neal Hefti's delicate arrangement of Pennies From Heaven; Sinatra performing Stephen Sondheim's (We Had A) Good Thing Going; Neal Hefti's arrangement of Cole Porter's At Long Last Love; and Quincy Jones' arrangement of The Best Is Yet To Come.

    As a stereo PCM track, the surround speakers and subwoofer are not called upon during this DVD.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    This DVD contains very few extras.

Menu

    The DVD auto-plays on loading, but there is a menu if you select it. It is static and without audio.

Trailer

    This four minute and nineteen second trailer is presented in as aspect ration of 1.33:1, full frame, non-16x9 enhanced with an English PCM track. It advertises the series of ten Sinatra DVDs that Warner Vision is releasing, as opposed to this DVD in particular. I assume that this trailer appears on all ten DVDs.

Catalogue

    Purely text-based, this extra lists the tracks on Warner Vision's ten Sinatra DVDs. Again I assume that this extra appears on all ten DVDs.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 version of this DVD was released in September 1999. It only differs from the Region 4 version in the design of the slick. Thus, I favour our version based on its availability, and superior PAL image.

Summary

    This is a thoroughly enjoyable DVD. It offers the rare (perhaps unique) opportunity of experiencing Sinatra performing with Count Basie's Orchestra on DVD, and as such, it is a must for Sinatra fans.

    The video quality is acceptable, considering the source material.

    The audio quality is great, considering the source material.

    The extras are minimal.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Saturday, January 26, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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