Frank Sinatra, A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra

Will Friedwald

By Will Friedwald

on 05.18.11 in Reviews

A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra
Bringing out Sinatra’s delightfully corny side

While this may be the only album on this list that doesn't deserve the phrase "masterpiece," it's far from a throwaway. Anytime arranger — conductor Gordon Jenkins wasn't being epically sad (as on Where Are You?, When No One Cares and All Alone) or "serious" (as on September of My Years) he could be downright corny. Not, as they say on Seinfeld, that there's anything wrong with that. This 1957 holiday album (his second actually — he'd released a Christmas collection for Columbia in 1948) brought out the delightfully corny side of Sinatra — never more enjoyably than on the opener, Jenkins's gleefully dopey mock-doo-wop re-do of "Jingle Bells." Sinatra and Jenkins make beautiful music especially on those very touching "sad" Christmas songs, the ones about being separated from your loved ones during the holiday, like "I'll Be Home For Christmas" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." This is what it's like, you imagine, to spend Christmas in a bar, hanging your stockings over a rack of Jack Daniels.