Sid Mark's Anniversary Concert with Frank Sinatra Jr. and All-Star Band at Harrah's, Atlantic City
Next, the younger Sinatra took some time to reflect on and demonstrate the attributes of a few of his fatherâ????s lesser-known numbers, performing "So Long My Love," and Legrandâ????s beautiful ballad "Summer Me, Winter Me," from the film Picasso Summer. The show concluded with a powerful but well-controlled rendition of "My Way," which became symbolic of Sinatraâ????s life and brought the audience to a standing ovation, for which Sinatra Jr. was clearly appreciative. If he couldnâ????t fill his fatherâ????s shoes (who could?), he more than filled his own.
On a personal note, I couldn't shake one particular reservationperhaps unavoidable and not limited to this reviewer aloneabout this otherwise outstanding concert. The awareness of the father-son relationship and the intrusive question about whether the performer had sacrificed himself unnecessarily for the sake of "dad" rather than developing his own musical persona, or "charisma," interfered (initially, at least) with the listening process. Such a "compare-contrast" mentality by the public has hounded Frank Jr. throughout his career. (Who's not to say that if he had been named Joe or Bill, his career might have gone easier for him?) Once past that obstacle, it was all too clearto this reviewer and all those in attendancewhat a fine musician he is in his own right. As someone who covets serious jazz, which both Sinatras always closely identified themselves with, I was glad that not for a moment during this concert did the music degenerate for the sake of popular appealan undeniable quality of excellence was maintained throughout.
On a further positive note, it was moving and not necessarily expected to witness the devotion and nostalgia of the many died-in- the- wool Sinatra fans who filled the auditorium to capacity. Sinatra seemed to represent for them the straightforward courage and romanticism that is so lacking in the contemporary world and its music. The Chairmanâ????s singing was the "soundtrack" for the personal lives of several generations, reinforcing people's strivings and even bringing out their humanity. Frank Sinatra's son and also Sid Mark are to be credited for keeping this significant tradition alive.
Although Sinatra was a complex figure who often alienated those around him by his street-wise arrogance, he was also a man of great generosity and purpose, never flinching from manifesting his real and true self, whether in his music or his life. Undoubtedly, he would have been proud to see the more humble, self-effacing way his son has dedicated himself to the music, values, and tradition that his father stood for and, to a great extent, was responsible for creating.
[This reviewer would like to express special thanks to his long-time good friend, Janine Carazo (educator, accomplished vocalist, and Sinatra fan), who accompanied him to the concert and contributed many useful musical observations. Finally, deep appreciation to Sid Mark's wife Judy and members of the Mark family for their unreserved hospitality and warmth.]