Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim are two musicians who are no strangers to collaborations. Throughout their long and celebrated careers they both collaborated with a number of established acts. When both musical giants met for the 1967 album, “Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim,” it represented a merger of two distinct styles from men who could both be described as pioneers and trendsetters.
Often when two worlds meet the end result is an underwhelming experience, notwithstanding, this is not the case for the album. This collaboration works so well that one gets the impression, that it is a meeting of two long separated partners rather than a first time alliance.
Bossa nova is a genre renowned for its understated and subdued nature and in this respect Antonio Carlos Jobim is a virtuoso of these tenants. The musical background he provides is one that is relaxed and restrained. Naturally, the same is expected from the vocalist and in this regard Sinatra does not disappoint. Widely regarded as one of his best performance on a full length recorded album, “ol’ Blue Eyes” delivers a gentle and soft rendition of Jobim’s work.
On tracks like “How insensitive” (a title which contrasts his performance on the track), he manages to complement Jobim’s composition whilst at the same time stamp his authority on each track. The songs featured on this album have been covered many times before and after the release of this album, but none sound anything like what is heard on this album. This is majorly due to Sinatra’s unique singing/phrasing vocal style and breathing techniques which showcase both his musicianship and excellent interpretive ability.
Claus Ogerman is also responsible for the success of this album. His arrangement blends the two styles seamlessly. His soft strings provide a level of familiarly for Sinatra’s voice and bridges the gap between the two styles. His position as one of the most prolific and diverse arrangers of his time, unquestionably assists him in making this a homogenous album and not merely a mix of two styles.
This collaboration works because each musician adds an element to the album which is both distinct from the other musician’s contribution and complementary to it. Jobim and Ogerman provide a blend of sound and composition that adds a characteristically exotic flavor to Sinatra’s music unlike anything heard from him before. On the other hand, Sinatra attempts and successfully becomes the vocalist that bossa nova had never had. The relaxed and restrained standard is present but added to that is the unique timing and definitive presence that only Sinatra could provide. At their best, music from these two greats does not seem lacking in any way, never the less, on this album it is certainly true that the whole is more than the sum of its parts.
[learn_more caption=”Learn more”]
Recorded: January 30, February 1, 1967
Genre:Classic pop, Bossa Nova
Producer: Sonny Burke
1.”The Girl from Ipanema” (Antonio Carlos Jobim, Norman Gimbel, Vinícius de Moraes)
2.”Dindi” (Ray Gilbert, Jobim, Aloysio de Oliveria)
3.”Change Partners” (Irving Berlin)
4.”Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (Corcovado)” (Jobim, Gene Lees)
5.”Meditation (Meditação)” (Jobim, Gimbel, Newton Mendonça)
6.”If You Never Come to Me” (Jobim, Gilbert, de Oliveira)
7.”How Insensitive (Insensatez)” (Jobim, Gimbel, de Moraes)
8.”I Concentrate on You” (Cole Porter)
9.”Baubles, Bangles and Beads” (Robert C. Wright, George Forrest, Alexander Borodin)
10.”Once I Loved (O Amor em Paz)” (Jobim, Gilbert, de Moraes)