He is probably best known for his tough guy roles in films such as Die Hard and License to Kill, but performer Robert Davi’s first love is music and this month he puts that talent to good use in a tribute to one of the world’s best loved singers, Frank Sinatra.
It seems particularly fitting that Davi should take to the stage to deliver his rendition of Ol’ Blue Eyes favourite tracks, afterall he’s had a passion for the man and his music for decades. So much so he recorded an album, Davi Sings Sinatra in 2011 that has to be one of the best Sinatra tributes ever released.
Tonight he’s in Adelaide to present this album at what has to be one of the most anticipated performances at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Forget the imitators – Davi’s not into that – instead he presents the man and his music via carefully selected anecdotes, and titular songs. His rich baritone never falters and Davi has just the right amount of swagger and warmth to pull off the essence of Sinatra’s songs without mimicking the master.
The audience is treated to a trip through the Great American Songbook, urged on by Davi’s easy banter and his mastery of the likes of Sondheim and Porter. Put simply, Davi kills it.
Combining his acting talents with a keen ear for Sinatra’s phrasing, Davi renders up each song afresh, laying his own stamp on the tracks while still allowing the essence of Sinatra to shine through. The signature Sinatra tracks are handled with aplomb but what really struck home for me were the quieter moments. When Davi tackled ‘Moonlight in Vermont’, you could hear a pin drop and his interpretation of Sondheim’s ‘Send in the Clowns’ was one of the most moving performances from a singer I have ever seen.