100 Years of Frank Sinatra and Jazz

March 2016
Frank Sinatra in a New York City recording studio, 1956. Photograph by Herman Leonard. Herman Leonard Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.

by Eric Felten

When Frank Sinatra took the stage at the 1965 Newport Jazz Festival, the "jazz purists" were unhappy (so said Variety). Unhappy not because of "his own brand of casual hipness" nor even because of his Vegas-honed "glamour showmanship"—an aesthetic that included leaving the festival by helicopter like some stadium rock star; no, the purists' problem was that Sinatra was "technically not a 'jazz singer.'"

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