All I can say is I was totally blown away. Up until I heard this CD, I considered the choice for best “live” Sinatra album to be between 1960’s Sinatra at the Sands With Count Basie and the Orchestra and 1970’s Sinatra: The Main Event. Now I still would cast my vote for the Sinatra: The Main Event, but this latest CD would make it a tough three way choice.

I don’t know whether it’s my imagination or not, but Mr. Sinatra seems much more relaxed than other concerts from the same era (maybe from being back in the state of his birth?). Most of his 1980’s CDs seem to me to have been edited down (mostly the conversation between numbers), but this CD even gives the listener the complete Overture, besides the comments between songs. Also, it’s a single concert not a live CD put together from a couple different performances during a “concert tour.” 
Also, the sound quality on this CD is the absolute best I have ever heard on a concert/live CD of any performer/group. In any Sinatra Concert, there was no way he could sing all his hits, and this performance provides a great lineup of tunes. It includes a tremendous version of my all-time favorite Sinatra tune, One For My Baby (And One More For The Road). No one ever did what Sinatra did on this song, and the performance here is one of his best.

Shortly before this concert, he had released what was to be his last solo studio album (the extremely underrated LA Is My Lady), and we get two tunes from that album in this concert-the title tune and classic Mack the Knife. LA Is My Lady was a great album, which unfortunately had a very weak title tune. I found Sinatra’s concert version to be much better than the studio version-the song itself is still just as weak (the record company was looking for another New York, New York), but Sinatra makes it sound much better than it has any right to sound.

Check out Frank Sinatra: Live at the Meadowlands.

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