Robert Davi made a return visit to Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc., Wednesday and Thursday nights. And, once again, Herb Alpert’s elegant jazz club was overflowing with enthusiastic listeners eager to hear singer/actor Davi’s engaging tribute to Frank Sinatra.
The timing couldn’t have been better.
Wednesday, December 12, was Old Blue Eyes’ 97th birthday. A year ago, Davi celebrated Sinatra’s 96th birthday with the release of the Davi Sings Sinatra: On The Road To Romance, establishing his deep understanding of the Sinatra canon of song. This time out, however, Davi stepped away from the big band settings usually associated with Sinatra. Instead, he took a different musical path, using a sextet similar to a group Sinatra used in a 1962 world tour.
The results were fascinating, the smaller ensemble’s lighter back up sounds opening space for Davi to sing with compelling musicality, while reaching into the heart of a song. Like Sinatra, his phrasing evoked the richest story-telling aspects of a song.
And Davi did so with a program of material underscoring his assertion that the Great American Songbook is America’s Shakespeare. He cruised through more than twenty songs – starting with high spirited renderings of “I’ve Got The World On A String” and “At Long Last Love.”