This post is another one of those that's been waiting for its turn quietly, patiently. I've always known it had to be written, yet even now as I type purposefully, I'm not quite sure where exactly it will go. All I know is that one thing always leads to another and that's what makes writing like this so darn interesting.
My father's voice is just as familiar to me as that of Sinatra. Now there's a sentence I never thought I'd say. But it's true. Ever since I can remember (and my first memories go back to when I was 2 years old - so I remember lots) Ol' Blue Eyes has been our solid companion through thick and thin and I often wonder whether my dad would have been the person he is, had he not been such a lifelong passionate admirer of Sinatra's - in fact I'm sure that Sinatra is as much part of him as we are. And what a wonderful passion to have.
Do you know that by some amazing coincidence, Ava Gardner ended up being our neighbour for all those years when we lived in London's Ennismore Gardens? I think that all these elements: my father's music echoing over the garden square, me in the garden pretending I was Alice in Wonderland complete with my very own Cheshire Cat (his name was Ali and he was in fact a Siamese), Ava and her dogs next door looking down from her first floor balcony, the magnificence of the location (Ennismore Gardens is one of London's most beautiful squares) and the intensely happy times spent there, really make this my most treasured childhood memory. But back to the Man and his Music. I won't even try to describe the quality of Frank's voice as firstly you'll surely know how amazing it is yourself, and secondly it's just downright impossible - to me it's the most perfect singing voice I have ever heard and the effortlessness of his delivery is staggering, song after song after song. So in my quest to recognise my father's huge influence, and to pay tribute to this unique vocalist and perfomer, here is one of my own favourites. Genius, style and elegance all presented to perfection in this rare 1967 footage of Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim. I dare you to listen to this and NOT get goosebumps. When you get to the last song you'll be swaying, I know you will.