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Music gift guide

Our DVD pick

(The New York Times via AP)
By Sarah Rodman
Globe Staff / November 26, 2010

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If you’ve got a fan of Ol’ Blue Eyes on your holiday shopping list, the sumptuous “Frank Sinatra: Concert Collection’’ (Shout! Factory) may just be the ticket to Chairman of the Board bliss. This seven-DVD set offers a whopping 14 hours of live Sinatra, spanning the ’50s to the ’80s. Full concert performances and television specials — including all four in his “A Man and His Music’’ series — capture Sinatra in all his guises, from melancholy late night crooner to zinger-slinging wise guy to grade-A song interpreter.

Highlights include his bantering, scatting, and harmonizing with Ella Fitzgerald on the 1967 “Ella + Jobim’’ edition of “A Man and His Music’’ and his triumphant, lion-in-winter “Concert for Americas’’ performance from 1982. The “Around the World’’ disc includes rare Sinatra shows in far-flung locales, including a much sought after 1985 performance at the Budokan in Japan. Many of Sinatra’s famous friends — Dean Martin, Diahann Carroll, Natalie Cole, Tony Bennett — pop up throughout the set. Of those cameos, the tops is Gene Kelly, who joined Sinatra for a hilarious, poignant, and fleet-footed medley on the 1973 special “Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back.’’ A bonus disc includes the perfect après-Christmas dinner treat: a delightful, truly old-school — 1957— holiday TV special with Bing Crosby, including a swinging “Jingle Bells’’ during which the duo enjoys a “toddy for the body.’’ For a less pricey option, Shout Factory is also releasing “Concert for Americas’’ as a single disc on Dec. 14.