Wednesday, July 1, 2015


On December 12, 2015, it will be the 100th birthday of one of the most iconic, enigmatic, and popular vocalists to have ever lived, the late great Frank Sinatra.   He conquered the worlds of music and film, and has left behind a body of work that was the epitome of collected cool and class.

This past Sunday afternoon, I had the pleasure of listening to the beautiful and talented lovely voice of Francine Hailman.  This chanteuse is a Toronto Jazz Singer/Songwriter/Recording Artist and performed a tribute to Frank Sinatra concert for a packed audience on June 28th 2015.   Francine paired up with her tasteful and complimentary accompanist, pianist Rick Maltese, and the firm yet steady bassist Abbey Sholzberg, celebrating Frank’s life and timeless music in their own interpretive, sweet way.     There were happy and melancholy moments, yet both moods capture the sheer complexity and range of emotions that defined Sinatra and his personality, which Francine performed with her musicians.

To start, the trio opened with a spirited take on “Fly Me To The Moon”, with a soaring, beautiful vocal by Francine Hailman and spirited soloing by the pianist and bassist.   Things got hot & steamy through Francine’s stunning performance of “Body and Soul”, which was well assured, full of emotion, and echoes a longing soul in search of love.

A highlight of the concert was the less performed and obscure jazz standard Sinatra recorded, “Prisoner of Love” on the 1962 “Sinatra and Strings” album.   Francine treated the song as a show stopping performance only a diva could achieve, and the arrangement was majestic and full of romantic optimism.

Francine’s Sinatra concert had something for everyone, whether it is toe-tapping swing, groovy bossa nova, or ballads to cuddle with your lover.  She covered a symphony of well known Sinatra songs and took us down memory lane including “All or Nothing At All”, which was the title of the recent HBO documentary made of Frank’s life, “New York New York”, “That’s Life”, and ending with Francine’s dynamic  rendition of “My Way”.

The receptive audience was drawn in on Francine’s soothing, expressive song delivery which also included delightful background stories highlighting some of the tunes.

This songstress is becoming a dynamic force in the Toronto vocal jazz scene, and after coming from a near death experience and some positive health changes, she is really living life to the fullest by doing what she does best.  

Definitely catch Francine Hailman whenever you can when she performs as she certainly delivers an honest and passionate performance.



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