Two of John Pizzarelli’s greatest influences, Frank Sinatra and the bossa nova composer Antonio Carlos Jobim, joined forces in 1967 to present a softer, sultrier side of Sinatra on the heels of “That’s Life” and “Strangers in the Night.”
Half a century later, Pizzarelli is celebrating that unique gathering with his July 28 Concord Jazz release, Sinatra & Jobim @ 50.
Sinatraphiles consider the 1967 album Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim one of Sinatra’s greatest, a meeting that found Frank in an out-of-character setting. Yet he delivered a commanding and understated performance over Jobim’s gentle rhythms and Claus Ogerman’s strings.
With Sinatra & Jobim @ 50, Pizzarelli pays tribute to those original recordings, enhancing that collection with two originals, Michael Frank’s ode to Jobim and songs that Sinatra and Jobim recorded at a 1969 session.
“Jobim was such a big influence on me in the 1980s—what I was hearing, then translating and what I was taking away from it,” John says. “A lot of what we did on this record, the medleys and the arrangements for the new songs, come out of what they did on their album and the influence they have had on my music.”
Jobim’s grandson, Daniel Jobim, is John’s duet partner on the Jobim classics Sinatra and Jobim recorded together: “Agua de Beber,” “Bonita,” “This Happy Madness (Estrada Branca)” and “Dindi,” plus a medley of “Meditation” and “Quiet Night of Quiet Stars.” They also cover the standards from the 1967 LP, “Baubles, Bangles & Beads” and a medley of “Change Partners” with Jobim’s “If You Never Come to Me” plus Cole Porter’s “I Concentrate on You,” which is paired with Jobim’s “Wave.”
Pizzarelli & company also perform Jobim’s “Two Kites,” Michael Frank’s song about Daniel’s grandfather, “Antonio’s Song” and two Pizzarelli-Jessica Molaskey originals, “She’s So Sensitive” and “Canto Casual.” Each is interpreted with a tip of the cap to the 1967 album and bossa nova in general: The intro to “She’s So Sensitive” is taken from Jobim’s “How Insensitive”; John added a João Gilberto guitar lick to his “Canto Casual”; and the end of “Antonio’s Song” is the vocal line to “The Girl from Ipanema.”
Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the exclusive premiere of “She’s So Sensitive,” Pizzarelli’s new music video—not to mention an early taste of the new album.
“We did the tracks in two days with Daniel recording his parts in his grandfathers studio in Brazil,” John says. “The hardest one was ‘Two Kites.’ My father Bucky is on that record by Jobim”—1980’s Terra Brasilis—“so I thought we had to do that. The idea behind the extra songs was ‘what if their relationship had continued?’ Our relationship, Daniel and mine, made me feel we could add these other songs in there and put our little stamp on it.”
Below, you can check out “She’s So Sensitive,” a trailer for the new album and Pizzarelli’s upcoming tour dates.
For more information, visit johnpizzarelli.com.
7/27 – 30 Seattle, WA Jazz Alley (w/Daniel Jobim, Duduka
DeFonseca and Helio Alves)
8/02 – 03 Cleveland, OH Nighttown
8/05 Scranton, PA Scranton Jazz Festival
8/06 Goshen, CT Litchfield Jazz Festival
8/08 – 12 New York, NY Birdland
8/13 Rockport, MA Shalin Liu Performance Center
8/17 – 20 Los Angeles, CA Catalina Bar & Grill
8/23 Newport Beach, CA Newport Beach Marriott
8/24 – 25 Oakland, CA Yoshi’s
8/26 Santa Cruz, CA Kuumbwa Jazz Center
8/27 Escondido, CA The Centre
9/02 Mackinac Island, MI Labor Day Weekend Jazz Festival
9/15 Brookville, NY Tilles Center (w/Ramsey Lewis)
9/22 Greenville, NC Wright Auditorium
9/23 Raleigh, NC Stewart Theater
10/14 – 15 Hyannis, MA Barnstable PAC
10/28 St. Louis, MO Sheldon Concert Hall
12/1 Beverly, MA The Cabot
12/2 Stoney Brook, NY Steller Center for the Arts