It seems that my post to Santa got to the big man, because I did in fact get the Frank Sinatra box set Vegas that I was yearning for.
Four CDs of music, one DVD with video, all of the Chairman of the Board doing what he did best...swinging in Vegas like no other man before or after has done better. Honestly folks, Sinatra had a swagger that you have to listen to live to fully appreciate. And for those of us who weren't around to see him in person, recordings like these are the next best thing. If you are a Sinatra afficionado, this box set is just what the doctor ordered. There are certainly other live albums that capture the magic, but this collection is a nice slice of shows previously unavailable (one from '61, '66, '82, and '87 and the video from '78).
Looking for some cheaper live alternatives? Check out these albums:
Live in Australia, 1959 (with Red Norvo) - Although the sound quality on this is a little sub-par, this is still a great early performance by Frank.Already have these, then go for broke with the newly released set, Vegas. While you're waiting for it to arrive, here are some goodies to tide you over:
Sinatra & Sextet: Live in Paris - Great sound, a great set, and wonderful banter by Frank.
Summit: In Concert - Although well known as the rat pack, Sinatra and pallies preferred to be called the Summit. This recording, from '62, captures the irreverent banter that was typical of Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr.
Frank Sinatra - The One I Love Belongs To Someone Else : Vegas, Disc 1 (live at the Sands, 11-61)
Frank Sinatra - Don't Worry 'Bout Me : Vegas, Disc 2 (live at the Sands, 1-66 and 2-66)
Frank Sinatra - Get Me To The Church On Time : Vegas, Disc 3 (live at Caeser's Palace 3-82)
Frank Sinatra - Pennies From Heaven : Vegas, Disc 4 (live at the Golden Nugget 4-87)