Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

May 17, 2010

"Simply Sinatra"-Steve Lippia

Springfield Symphony Orchestra
Symphony Hall, Springfield, MA
May 17, 2010
by Eric Sutter

The winds of change have not dampened the effect that Ol' Blues Eyes' music has had on popular American culture. Frank Sinatra has a timeless classy style that vocalist Steve Lippia affectionately interpreted in a loving tribute to the Chairman of the Board. Everything was fine as the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, with guest conductor Lonnie Klein, performed a medley of Sinatra hits including the intro "Strangers In The Night" and "That's Life" with the brass leading the way for the lush strings.

Steve Lippia is one of the best interpreters of "standards" and traditional pop music. His energetic style and strong timbre of masculine voice combined to create a perfect blend of Sinatra swoon and up-tempo swing numbers. He is a native of Southington, CT but makes his home in Las Vegas, Nevada. His Vegas style shined brightly with a propulsive vocal prowess as he swung throught hits "I've Got The World On A String", "The Best Is Yet To Come" and "All The Way." Lippia's approach clearly lets hims shift from one style to another without violating the essence of Sinatra's music. He knew and loved these songs, and Lippia's comfort level allowed him to treat them as good friends. The lively "Cheek To Cheek" swung gently. "Witchcraft" was simply as smooth as silk and elicited a mental "ahh." The strings and piano accented "It Was A Very Good Year" nicely.

Jeff Homes stood out on piano as he rolled into the Cole Porter classic, "I've Got You Under My Skin." The audience was touched by the lyrical singing quality of "Send In The Clowns." An animated conductor closed the first half with Lippia singing the swingin' blues of "That's Life."

Lippia connected deeply with a barrage of hits in the second half -- "The Lady Is A Tramp", "Come Fly With Me", "Fly Me To The Moon" and "Luck Be A Lady" all conveyed the haunting Sinatra sound. The smooth tone of "My Way" registered sweetly. A not surprising encore was the soulful sing-a-long "New York, New York." This was quality entertainment for Springfield.