OPEN SOURCE: James Kaplan's Sinatra - "an almost operatic version of the blues"
We’re listening with biographer James Kaplan to Frank Sinatra sing “I’ll be Around” and realizing that, of course, he kept his word. Frank: The Voice extends this bountiful year in major musical biographies—of Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, and now Sinatra. James Kaplan begins Frank with a bang in recasting the legends: Sinatra’s volcanic mother Dolly, and later, Ava Gardner, Sinatra’s volatile muse and second wife. But Kaplan’s may be the first of the many Sinatra “lives” that’s as relentlessly detailed about the man as about his music, and judicious about the mercurial mix of both. Kaplan points out Frank’s “almost operatic version of the blues” as well as “the smile in Sinatra’s voice,” when it’s there. Not the least joy of these 700-plus pages is that they’re just the first half of the Sinatra story.