The Rat Pack

Summit: In Concert

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After kicking around for years on bootlegs and unofficial releases (notably Jazz Hour's two-CD version, At Villa Venice, Chicago Live 1962), this tape of a live performance from a notorious set of nightclub shows by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr., has been edited down to one 78-and-a-half-minute CD for release on producer Tina Sinatra's Artanis Entertainment Group. In the wake of the deaths of the three principals in the 1990s, much has been made of their comic, boozy Rat Pack of the late '50s and early '60s, and this is the definitive aural document of it. Martin opens with a series of song parodies and hits, followed by a relatively straight Sinatra set and a Davis performance that is interrupted after a couple of songs by his partners. The three then launch into a 45-minute musical comedy act including jokes, insults, impressions, and more songs. None of it sounds as spontaneous as these shows supposedly were (odds are Sammy Cahn wrote all the parody lyrics), nor all that funny, actually. Maybe it all sounds better if you're drunk, but if these guys weren't so famous, they'd be awful boors. The attraction to this aspect of each artist' s persona has always been campy, a sort of "so bad it's good" appeal. It's understandable that Tina Sinatra would want to capitalize on it and to enable the Sinatra family to profit from a recording that they own. But it is to be hoped that subsequent Artanis releases will take another tack.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 1:00
2
feat: Dean Martin
4:09
3
feat: Dean Martin
3:18
4
feat: Dean Martin
1:50
5
feat: Dean Martin
2:28
6 1:15
7 2:30
8 3:41
9
1:54
10 3:52
11 4:16
12 3:20
13
4:10
14
5:49
15
6:38
16
18:40
17
3:30
18 3:32
19 3:05
20 4:38
blue highlight denotes track pick