When Frank Sinatra departed the planet, I read an article about him in which a number of jazz greats praised him in the highest terms. I found that surprising, given his popularity and political tendencies. But I could see what they meant. In particular, they singled out his gift for singing every word so that you could understand it without difficulty -- a la Morrissey, for the thirty-somethings out there -- while also stretching the vocal melody so that the natural stress of the words makes a neat counterpoint to the beats of the song. Listening to him sing his version of "Jingle Bells" just now, I realized how apt a description that is. He floats a phrase without ever letting it get muddy. He may not have been the best lover, but his voice sure is.