Hear 'Sinatra & Jobim @ 50,' John Pizzarelli's Personal Tribute to a Masterpiece

Jul 21, 2017

John Pizzarelli played an “Invitation” series at the Montreal Jazz Festival earlier this month, including a tribute to the songs of Antonio Carlos Jobim, joined by Jobim’s grandson Daniel.  John has been a regular at the jazzfest since 1990 and, John said, “the Bossa Nova concert a dozen years ago was my favorite.

John’s wife Jessica Molaskey, and their daughter Madeleine sang with him in Montreal.  “She plays guitar,” John said about Maddy and laughed.  “Surprisingly!”

John and Daniel were celebrating a new album they’ve recorded, Sinatra & Jobim @ 50, a tribute to the 50th anniversary of a masterpiece, the album Francis Albert Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim.  All the songs on that album were exquisitely orchestrated by Claus Ogerman.  John recreates the breezy beauty of that album with a quartet featuring Harry Allen for some Getz-ian solos on tenor sax,  Helio Alves on piano, Mike Karn on bass, and Jobim’s own drummer, Duduka DaFonseca.  Jessica and Maddy join in the singing.

At the Montreal concert, John and Daniel recalled not being able to be together in the studio. So, through the miracles of technology, they recorded on two continents, Daniel in Rio, John in New Jersey.  Most of the songs echo the Sinatra/Jobim album, mostly Jobim’s own (“Quiet Nights,” “Dindi,” "If You Never Come To Me”) and standards that Ogerman Brazilianized for Frank and Tom (“Baubles, Bangles, and Beads,” “Change Partners,” “I Concentrate on You”).  

One of the highlights, “Two Kites,” features Daniel at the piano and his grandfather’s own lyrics.  Jobim loved to write whimsical, almost surreal rhymes in his English lyrics — “I get a flash of your thigh like a spy in the sky!”  Daniel’s voice as a singer often sounds charmingly sweet like Tom’s.

One of the songs on the new album that's not from the original album is “Antonio’s Song,” written by Michael Franks to remember Jobim as much for his being an activist in protecting the birds and trees of endangered Brazilian forests as for his wonderful music.  John and Jessica also have written a couple of new songs, “She’s So Sensitive” and a delightful finale about singing bossa nova, “Canto Casual.”  

1) Baubles, Bangles And Beads 2) Agua De Beber 3) Meditation / Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars 4) Dindi

5) I Concentrate On You / Wave 6) Antonio's Song 7) Two Kites 8) She's So Sensitive 9) Bonita

10) If You Never Come To Me / Change Partners 11) Canto Casual