Bob Anderson Shines in Frank, The Man, The Music

bob-anderson

Bob Anderson

Bob Anderson had an idea. His Musical Director, Vincent Falcone, had been Frank Sinatra’s musical director for years. It seems Frank gave Vinnie,  his arrangements. Frank told him, Keep the music going!

Bob and Vinnie are keeping the promise. They hired an incredibly talented make up artist, Kazu Tsuji. He works on him, for two hours each night, turning him into Frank!.. Kazu is the Oscar-nominated makeup artist who transformed Brad Pitt in the 2008 Film, ‘The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button’. (reference KazuStudios.com)

straight-outta-hoboken-sinatra-450

Bob Anderson as Frank!

He does the transformation of Bob to Frank,  in 2 hours, because the 3 hours he needed were too just too much for Bob on a nightly basis!. The face, the hair, amazingly accurate.

Then Bob does the rest, the posture, the walk, the mannerisms, the voice, OH, the Voice!

The show is produced and directed by Stephen Eich of the Steppenwolf theater in Chicago. The lighting and set design by Kevin Rigdon also of the Steppenwolf theater.

The bigger surprise in the show is the 32-piece orchestra. Not just any musicians; many who played with Frank. Along with bassist Bob Sachs, and guitarist Joe Lano, Drummer Tommy Check, the sax section, and many throughout the orchestra have played these charts with the man himself, Frank. .

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Musical Director, Vincent Falcone

What great charts they are!  Chills will appear on your body many times during the 90-minute show.  The string section is big and lush.

I have been watching Bob Anderson my entire adult life. I was in the Casino De Paris show at the Dunes Hotel, when Bob performed at the Top Of The Dunes. This was a popular show where you would run into Tony Bennett, Steve Lawrence, and Don Rickles in the elevator.

Following his career, I saw him at the Desert Inn, where one night I got pulled onstage and sang with him. He was always my favorite singer and entertainer. Bob moved to town from Detroit as a 22-year old, and worked with Nancy Sinatra, at the Sahara Hotel.  He is very gracious to his fans, always takes pictures with them, and gives them his time. Take note future entertainers, always greet your fans, they are why you are working!

Pre-Show at the Palazzo Theater.

Pre-Show at the Palazzo Theater.

The show is staged at the Palazzo Hotel, in the Palazzo Theatre; originally named The Jersey Boys Theatre. When the Palazzo was built, the showroom was designed to stand in the exact place as its predecessor, the Copa Room at The Sands Hotel.

Frank, The Man, The Music begins with the orchestra playing a medley of Sinatra favorites.

Simultaneously, screen projections on both sides of the theatre stage. You watch Bob finish his character transformation, walk through the hall, talk with a few people, and then enter stage right as if the film-transition is live every night.

The Sands HotelWhen he opens his mouth to sing, it doesn’t take long to forget you are no longer watching and listening to Bob, but Frank Sinatra.

The patter, the stories are fascinating, all done in character; and the party begins. Time stops and you ARE taken back in time.

Old Vegas is back, and you can hear him sing the Bossa Nova, a la Antonio Carlos Jobim. That musical period played flawlessly by guitar legend, Joe Lano!.  Then, you are whisked inside Capitol records for a reenactment of a studio recording session. 

Bob Anderson is a consumnate performer. This is evident, with the easy listening style and goose bump singing. He sings with ease, because he is a natural. I asked him if he warms up? He said, “Very little.” He sings along backstage in the wings and does a few scales. I understand this as a natural singer myself, I hardly ever warm up, and my voice is always  there for me.

frank-the-man-the-musicThis show is here only until the end of 2015, then it moves to New York. Tickets for  Frank: The Man,The Music can be purchased via Ticketmaster online or 702-414-9000. Thank you , Patricia Dockswell, Bobs Production Coordinator.

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

My First Lonely Night

Jessie Paul in Studio C

Jessie Paul in Studio C

No, it isn’t a love story post. It is the name of the B-side of my first, recording at age 12. I was signed to Capitol/World Pacific Jazz label when I was in Van Nuys Junior High School in Van Nuys, California.

My father, the great drummer, Irv Kluger was a staple on Frank Sinatra and Harry Belafonte sessions in the 50’s and early 60’s. So, he asked the CEO to meet with me, and let me sing for him.  I knew from the time I could talk, this was what I was born to do. I had no nerves or insecurity about singing. i thought I was more comfortable singing than being in a room with people talking.

The meeting was easy. I brought my acoustic guitar, and I sang for him. he went out of the office for a few minutes, came back with a producer , and a contract. I was to record 6 songs, 3 records, this was the days of 45’s not tapes!. They would be written by either the Everly Brothers or people who were on staff at Capitol.

The A-side, the one they thought had the most commercial potential, was Johnny Let Me Go. The B-side was an English cover of the Japanese hit, Sukiyaki.  It was called My First Lonely Night.

The songs did well. They placed on Billboard with 70 with a bullet. The bullet meant it had sped up from over a hundred and was moving fast in breakout areas.  It was all so wonderful until The Beatles came out. Guess what label they were on in America? That’s right, Capitol!!     OK, OK…  I survived them not spending too much money on ME, and my next two records were done in a smaller studio, not Studio A where I had recorded , with a huge orchestra and strings and back up singers. It was a smaller rock band and a smaller studio, but they had to give me the what was due on my  contract and record me, even though we all knew it was over. I was a has been at 13 and a half.   It’s all ok, I survived, and I  reinvented myself, took my name back, because they named me Jessie Paul???

I had a great career and I still have one, I am coaching fantastic singers, have  many recording, Marine Goujon, Siana, Claudia, and Maria, and Chelsea, some touring, like Nick Hissom. Ohers working the Las Vegas Strip, such as Frank Salerno and Paul Magsig, 

Then it got better, I looked in the garage, and saw a box from the storage unit, it had a lot of music in it. I went through it and shut my mouth!  I found the original scores for Johnny Let Me Go and Popcorn and Candy. I have uploaded the recordings on Soundcloud.com if you want to take a listen

I also found some of the chart of  My First Lonely Night. And to my surprise, I found a chart of an original song, composed by me! It is called, I Wonder What He Meant By That? I have asked my friend and producer Tom Marolda to take a look at it, and he said “Let’s record it!”  Tom is working on a new Stallone  movie right now, ‘The Tomb’. So, when he has a minute , we are going to do that.

So,  I was looking at the chart of Johnny Let Me Go and see the arranger has signed it. OMG  the arranger was George TiptonNow you may not know who George Tipton is , but let me tell you, While he was writing my charts and shortly after while I was down the street doing the Broadway show’ HAIR, he was composing the theme songs for TV shows, such as Benson, Golden Girls, Love Boat, Empty Nest, It’s a Living,  The Courtship of Eddies Father, and recording every one of Harry Nilsson’s albums, and writing songs  ‘Cotton Comes to Harlem’, for  films Badlands, and ‘The Gift’  theme for ‘Soap’. To top it off, he wrote the arrangement for Jose Feliciano’s rendition of Light My Fire.

Now, I was blown away by something that I never knew about my record. No wonder when you listen to it, it holds up, and the lush strings and arrangement, makes you still swoon, after all this time. It is still beautiful! I love listening to it.

There is something very different about Johnny Let Me Go and My First Lonely Night and then my next four recordings…. A  major change in production and arranging. But now I know why. I had a giant do my first record. I was proud of the songs before, but now, I am reliving the glory days of being a little recording artist in the San Fernando Valley.

You never know what treasures you will find when you look in your basement, attic, or storage unit. I found a true treasure, more than one, I found a song that I wrote, was never recorded and I forgot about it!.  I found my past, my youth, and my fond memories of my early years in this business. I wish all of you one day, that you find something of value to your heart in an old box. It sure feels good!

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

Where are they Now? Students of Las Vegas Vocal Training – Part 1

This post is the first of several parts, chronicling the development of a number of students of Las Vegas Vocal Training. 

Missy

Missy

Missy

A former student, Missy, was a cocktail waitress here, in Las Vegas, at Hooters Hotel and Casino. She studied over two years with me, and  then decided to move to my old stomping grounds, Los Angeles.

She has written her own songs that have received airplay all over Southern California. I am so proud of her. She was a pretty blonde. Now she has very dark hair, and an edgy look.

I always enjoyed working with her, and she is one of many I keep a photo of on my studio wall.

Alex

Alex Lowery

Alex is a daughter of a singer friend of mine. When I first met her, I was taken aback by her beauty. She was so shy, it took months to get her to sing for me. I continued to work with her on breathing, and eventually, singing. She is a great dancer; a former cheerleader.

After 5 or 6 months, she connected with a manager, Steve ‘Biscuit’ Walker. Biscuit was a rapper in the 80’s and has extensive credits for working with famous clients such as Justin Timberlake, InSync, among many others.

At Biscuit’s direction, Alex enrolled with choreographer, Missy Cochran for hip-hop classes at Backstage Dance. Missy is well-known for choreographing videos.

Despite extensive vocal coaching, Alex still wasn’t quite comfortable singing alone. She made a friend at dance class who could sing, DeAnne. They became D&A. A clever name I thought. The first original song I was given to coach her on was “Girl in The Window” by Bruno Mars. He was not yet famous, and selling his songs in Los Angeles working with co-writer Brody Brown.

The girls spent nearly every weekend in Los Angeles recording with Brody, and coached by me on weekdays. At night, dancing with Missy.

D & A

D & A

Then, they got an opportunity to perform in the Summer Rock Jam at the Henderson Pavilion, as one of the open acts for headliner. Jesse McCartney.With this project, we went into overdrive. I taught all day, packed up my P.A. system and wireless mics to get over to the rehearsal at Backstage to help the girls dance and breathe at the same time.

Missy had found three great backup dancers for the show. The dancers were poppin’  and the girls were great. It was an exciting time.

The day of the concert came, and they really pulled it off. They were so good. All the songs composed by Brody and Bruno… and were terrific songs. Backstage preparations were documented with on video. In case of a True Hollywood Story in the future, that coverage will be gold!

Next, they were off to show case for Universal Music. It all fell apart on that trip. A songwriter literally coaxed them away, and court proceedings were in the future. This fairytale had an unhappy ending, they had parental problems, as minors, the parents had to sign off on a lot. The two sets of parents seemed to disagree on everything!!

D&A disbanded, and that was sad. I believe DeAnne left for the Philippines (her mother’s home country). Alex, however, went to Los Angeles, weekly, with her mom, Ronnie, rented a room and auditioned for everything possible.  Alex went on to be a dancer on Glee, and an actress in t v and commercials,,

First, she landed a job as an extra on Glee. then  she had  a recurring role on the Disney TV show, Victorius. She has been concentrating on an acting career. but is still a triple threat, for sure! It has exciting to watch Alex mature, and look glamorous and lovely. I keep track on her on social network, and am proud to have been just a part of her dream.

Jim

Jim

Jim

Jim is an opera singer and had been taking lessons for at least three years, for twice a week.

He wanted to sing more contemporary Sinatra-type things. We worked hard and in no time, I got him booked at an Italian wedding at the Bellagio.

The bride wanted an Italian-speaking-singer to surprise her new husband, and Jim was so good and personable, he was invited to stay, eat, and hang out for the rest of the reception.

This led to other gigs around town, and this man in his 60,s was now, living his dream. After his job for the city, he got into a tux and sang! I am most proud of him.

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

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Las Vegas Local 369 Musicians Deliver for Idina Menzel

Las Vegas Local 369 American Federation of MusiciansWhen I saw Kevin Spacey, several years ago at the Wayne NewtonStardust Showroom, the orchestra was filled with local musicians. That was true with all Las Vegas headliners in the good old days.

Performers such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Wayne Newton, Dionne Warwick, Donny and Marie, and all the stars from the 50’s and 60’s highlighted the casino marquees.

My dad (Irv Kluger) a popular drummer from the big bands, moved our family to Las Vegas, because he was always here working with performers such as Juliet Prowse, Jerry Lewis, and Artie Shaw.

The Annual Jerry Lewis MDA Telethons were a showcase for local musicians and a paid performance they could count on.

Nevada is a right-to-work state. That means a hotel can hire workers without a union contract. So, when corporations came in and took over the town, they thought an extra corner of slot machines would be more lucrative than a band.

Jeff Kutash-Dancin-Machine

Jeff Kutash’s Dancin’ Machine

This was the beginning of a dramatic decline in the hiring of live musicians. Taped music started with Frank Rosenthal hiring Dancin’ Machine at the Stardust Hotel. The situation worsened with more frequent use of synthesizers, often used to in place of strings and horns.

The shows that are now active, such as: Donny and Marie, many concerts, Vegas the Show, Jersey Boys, and Phantom of the Opera have kept some musicians working. For many others, in a right-to-work state, it was doomsday.

When I sang with Bobby Vinton, Engelbert Humperdinck, Sheena Easton, Joe Piscopo, there were large orchestras. THAT was Old Vegas. That’s what I think of when I hear a big band now.

Sunday, June 10th, at Reynolds Theater at The Smith Center, I heard one of the best concerts of my life, featuring Tony Award Winner, Idina Menzel.

Idina’s Rhythm Section, from New York City, led by her Musical Director, Rob Mounsey,  travel the entire 30-day tour.

The rest of the musicians for her performance are Las Vegas locals. I would like you to know these people. They live here, and go to 90 minute, 2-hour rehearsals, and then perform, brilliantly… as if they had played her repertoire, forever.

Idina asked the entire orchestra to stand, for applause, multiple times. These talented musicians never receive enough credit. It’s my pleasure to share the complete list of local musicians who made her show sound so good, and represented Las Vegas, so well.

Local 369 Musicians for Idina Menzel

SmithCenterLogo1st Violins

2nd Violins

Violas

Celi

Reed 1 – Alto Sax & Flute

Reed 2 – Tenor sax/Flute/Clarinet

  • Martin Radunz

Reed 3 – Bari Sax/Flute/Clarinet

Reed 4 – Oboe/English Horn

French Horn

Trumpets

Trombone

Bass Trombone

Harp

Percussion

I want them to know, the music they play, every time they have a concert or show with anyone, is prime and magical. They deserve the applause because without the music, there would be no show.

Thank you for bringing your game, and just know that some of us appreciate you, more than you know.

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

Harry Connick Jr. Swings American Idol on Sinatra Night

Harry Connick Jr.

Harry Connick Jr.

Harry Connick Jr. didn’t just mentor the week, he arranged every song himself, and led the band while playing piano and organ.

No one has ever gotten that involved. I hope they do this sort of thing again. They showed a lot of footage of Sinatra, which was sweet to watch. Can’t believe it has been 12 years since his passing. Connick really worked with these singers on every note. This is what they all needed weeks ago. Tina Sinatra and a wax figure of Nancy Sinatra were in the audience. They gave Simon a scarf of Franks’s.

I wish they would let vocal coaches work with these people. I just don’t understand why they don’t. I  don’t agree with Ellen because I heard country at the end of the song.

  • Aaron did all right. It was a little country for swing. but he was in tune.
  • Casey was second  with Connick, and he is very funny.  Said something interesting, “Sometimes it isn’t about the lyric, it’s about the groove”. That is true when you sing a song that has silly lyrics. I thought Casey was just awful. this is not his genre.
  • The theme idea is stupid. Not all singers can sing the same style songs, it is unfair to those who cannot do well on those awkward weeks.  If you have a fast vibrato, you won’t sound good doing Sinatra. He was all about control.
  • Crystal was right on with an evening gown, hair up and jazzy Peggy lee cool style of  singing  Summer Wind.
  • Mike Lynche was in his element with “Just the Way you Look Tonight” I love this song so much. He was so comfortable.   He nailed this, out of sight, right on brother.
  • Lee was OK on “That’s Life”, but after Mike, but there is no doubt this season belongs to Mike and Crystal..

Marciel over and out.

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

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