|Sir Paul McCartney (REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)|
Sir Paul McCartney is giving a live concert at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles and it is streaming through iTunes. He is surrounded by a gaggle of fluid jazz musicians led by Diana Krall.
A supple standup bass thumps next to him as he sits on a stool and sings in measured tones through a shopworn vintage microphone. He is running through standards from the Great American Songbook that grace his newly released standards album, Kisses on the Bottom.
Yes, the cynics among you (yes, you) are thinking that this is a well-traveled road that many fading stars take as they head to pasture. To be sure, the likes of Michael Bolton and Rod Stewart cashed in their credibility for a string of these crooner albums when they ran out of ideas on where to go next.
But this is different. McCartney is on a personal and professional high at the moment.
He sold out stadiums over the summer, rocking the rafters for three hours at a clip on his Up and Coming Tour. He orchestrated another opera piece that debuted last September. Somewhere in between, he found time to get hitched to his new wife Nancy.
Did we mention that the man is in his late sixties? His vitality is on full display during this concert.
The man that yelped out the primal scream of "Helter Skelter" in Yankee Stadium over the summer demonstrates his versatility with this understated vocal delivery.
He dedicates his new song, "My Valentine" to his wife, instantly making a million women jealous that they don’t have a song like this written for them once he opens his mouth.
“What if it rains/and she was right/the love of mine/my valentine/as days and nights would pass me by/I'd tell myself I'm waiting for a sign/then she appeared/a love so fine!/and I will love her/for life/and I will never let a day go by/without remembering the reasons why/she makes me certain that I can fly,” he sings.
Joe Walsh of the Eagles swoops in and drops a stunning flamenco-tinged solo onto a perfect musical cloud. McCartney, a man known for "silly love songs," just wrote himself one of the best in his career. It's an instant classic.
"I thought I knew every old song out there from my dad's days, but this is one I didn't know," McCartney says on the broadcast. “Frank Sinatra recorded it and its called 'We Tree.' I mean 'We Three.'"
He can barely wipe the smile from his face even as he sings a lonesome ditty. "We three/we're all alone/my echo, my shadow, and me," he croons as he pours on the charm.
The concert ends but the camera rolls on. “Are we still on the telly?” he says with a laugh. “There
goes that suave element.”
He is the cute Beatle, remember?
The goosebumps rocketed up my arm throughout this online show. Actually, they began earlier this week, when I first downloaded Kisses on the Bottom.
You might have missed the show (it is on iTunes for a limited time only) but don’t miss Kisses on the Bottom.
Here, listen to 'My Valentine' from "Kisses on the Bottom" by Paul McCartney: