Memorable Sinatra Moments: Kurt Elling, Caetano Veloso, & Iggy Pop

Kurt Elling
“It Was a Very Good Year” (1965)

“Sinatra is the embodiment of a dominant, swinging singer. His technique is flawless. (Did Sinatra ever sing out of tune?) His delivery is emotionally transparent and rich. His diction is at once relaxed and crystal clear. He is a profound storyteller — as you can gather from this clip. Really, there is so much about popular singing of good taste that Sinatra simply defined that it's tough not to throw one's hands up at the idea of even attempting to match him. It is one more spur to those who come after him to chart new territory. Otherwise, he just owns the field. I've always wished there was one more verse to this remarkable song — it's just over too soon.”

Caetano Veloso

“It's Easy to Remember (and So Hard to Forget)” (1957)

“I was 18. In my tiny Bahia house, I would spend hours listening to the album 'Close to You.' 'It's Easy to Remember,' 'Everything Happens to Me,' 'With Every Breath I Take,' 'P.S. I Love You' … Sinatra at his soberest, most dignified manliness. His natural musicianship in perfect calm. Nelson Riddle. That album formed my taste. I loved Ray Charles, Monk and Miles. And listened to João Gilberto more than anything. But Sinatra's 'Close to You' played a special role in my musical life.”

Iggy Pop

Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, “Love Me Tender/Witchcraft” (1960)

“I'm thinking of the encounter between Frank and Elvis, when El guested on Frank's TV show, and they did a medley duet. What I noticed at first viewing was how much larger, prettier and vocally more powerful Elvis was than Frank. Sort of a solid gold Cadillac in human form, purring through the material with God-like ease. I think Frank showed incredible pluck and guts in holding his own gracefully. Kind of a sympathetic Everyman. Worthy of respect, even from Apollo.”