Frank Sinatra: Where Are You?


Frank Sinatra: Where Are You?
With Gordon Jenkins and his orchestra
SACD/CD Mobile Fidelity Original Master Recordings 2109 / Monaural
Originally released on Capitol Records, 1957

The first “Vault-Treasure Tuesdays” feature was Clifford Brown With Strings, from 1956. Sticking to that same part of the century, here we have, from 1957, Frank Sinatra’s Where Are You?, in a truly remarkable monophonic remastering by Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs.

The Haiku version is: this album of “weepies” is one of Sinatra’s best. Where Are You? was Sinatra’s first album with Gordon Jenkins as arranger and conductor. They struck the perfect emotional balance, avoiding both bleak despair and superficial hipness. And Where Are You?‘s narrative arc makes it the perfect bookend for Clifford Brown With Strings.

The sound’s being in mono subtracts nothing, in my opinion. Further, one would expect a monophonic master tape from that era to have more signal and less noise than a stereo master tape of the same width. The sound quality of the MoFi release is shockingly good—real hi-fi demo material.

(Though I fear that if you listened to both albums back-to-back, you’d end up thinking that if humans were like amoebas, and multiplied by dividing, there would never be any need for sad songs about love and loss.)

The set list (again) reads like a “Best of the Great American Songbook” cheat-sheet, the first five tracks being “Where Are You?,” “The Night We Called It a Day,” “I Cover the Waterfront,” “Maybe You’ll Be There,” and “Laura.” “Laura” also appearing on Clifford Brown With Strings. Another precious moment in time, frozen in amber. A true Vault Treasure.

In the spirit of Fair Use, here’s a representative segment of the title track:

Click here to buy the SACD/CD Where Are You?

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