Friday, July 28, 2017

John Pizzarelli Sinatra & Jobim at 50

John Pizzarelli
Sinatra & Jobim at 50
Concord Jazz

John Pizzarelli cites Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim as major influences on his vocals and his latest release commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Grammy Winning collaboration between the two legends. He pays tribute to those recordings on this set with eight tracks being songs that Sinatra and Jobim recorded at a 1969 session along with two originals, and Michael Frank’s ode to Jobim. Among those with Pizzarelli on this recording are Jobim's grandson Daniel, and drummer Duduka Da Fonseca, bassist Mike Karn and piano player Helio Alves.

On this recording, both Pizzarelli and Jobim channel the elder Jobim more than Sinatra, who admittedly was understated compared to his usual style on the celebrated recordings. The musical tone on most of these selections is more like Getz-Gilberto than the Claus Ogerman or Eumir Deodato orchestrated sessions. The result is delightful performances in their own lightly swinging fashion including then marvelous "Agua De Beber," as well as the lovely medley of "Meditation / Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars," with Daniel singing the latter number in Portuguese before Pizzarelli sings softly in English along with his soft guitar chording, and the pretty "Dindi." There is also the delightful lightly swaying bossa nova medley of "I Concentrate On You / Wave," with Alves exquisite in his accompaniment and Pizzarelli taking a brief acoustic chordal break. Pizzarelli's father recorded "Two Kites" with the elder Jobim, with Daniel taking the vocal on this remake with a vocal chorus with its celebration of the kites flying in the sky. There is also a wonderful tenor saxophonist on a few selections including Michael Frank's "Antonio's Song."

As indicated this is a delightful recording, full of charm and elegance that might not quite reach the level of the legendary Sinatra-Jobim collaboration, but is enjoyable and laudable with its own considerable merits.

I received my review copy from Concord. Here is a video of "Baubles, Bangles & Beads," from this recording.

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