Robert Davi: Sings Sinatra on the Road to Romance

Actor Robert Davi salutes Frank Sinatra

There’s a long history of actors branching into singing, some convincingly, some not so much. Actor Robert Davi, who sees himself as a singer who fell into acting, joins the former group with this salute to Sinatra. Davi shows that an actor’s expressive ability and top-notch accompaniment go a long way to recreating the character of Sinatra’s performances. Davi has a compelling baritone, and his enthusiasm for the material and the man are obvious. He’s deeply influenced by Sinatra – as would be just about anyone singing these songs at this point in musical history – but not imitative. He evokes Sinatra’s playful attitude without raiding every nook and cranny of the master’s style, leading the orchestra through swinging charts by Nic Tenbroek in the same Capitol studio Sinatra waxed some of his greatest sides. The song list is drawn primarily from Sinatra’s years with Capitol and Reprise – roughly mid-50s to mid-60s (only “Mam’selle,” from 1947, dips back into his Columbia years) – and weighs heavily to iconic swing sides. The ballads – “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” and “Here is That Rainy Day” – haven’t the desperate loneliness of Sinatra’s originals, though the latter’s heavy strings add a nicely orchestrated mood of brooding. Davi hasn’t the perfect vocal control of Sinatra in his prime, but he evokes the attitude with affectionate vocal inflections – a trombone-like slide, hummed note or snappy verbal aside – that bring the Chairman’s style back to life. [©2011 hyperbolium dot com]

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