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Being the son of a renowned jazz guitarist can be daunting, but Bucky Pizzarelli's son John, a guitarist since the age of six, has been building a formidable career of his own since fronting his first trio in the early 1990s. With Bossa Nova, Pizzarelli continues to pursue thoughtfully realized thematic projects. This set mixes exceptional versions of five songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim with luscious Brazilian adaptations of standards (including Gershwin's "Fascinating Rhythm") and a couple of Pizzarelli originals. The small ensemble interplay is warmly recorded, and the addition of chorus vocals and string or flute quartets on some of the material adds spice and variety. --David Greenberger
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and hear a part of what so moved me
that early July morning on the AM airwaves.
I also hope that a little piece of this recording
will remain in your heart too, much like
João's music and Brazil has remained in mine." ~ John Pizzarelli
What a very nice thought from guitarist/vocalist/composer John Pizzarelli. What he heard from the airwaves that summer of '81 was João Gilberto singing a Claus Ogerman arrangement of "Besame Mucho" from the album "Amoroso." And according to Mr. Pizzarelli "that record is a gift to the world. It remains an inspiration to all who hear it; and he always thought it to be the centerpiece of everything that Bossa Nova is and has become."
This CD is a testament of Pizzarelli's love for Bossa Nova, which has become a musical phenomenon. The marriage of American and Brazilian music was warmly embraced and welcomed by music lovers throughout the world. Its popularity is so overwhelming! Numerous great jazz legends, musicians and artists have recorded this kind of music.
Listen to one of the greatest compositions of the Gershwins -"Fascinating Rhythm" and you'll be delighted in the way Pizzarelli interpreted this standard - so splendidly arranged by Don Sebesky. Jobim's gem of gems, "The Girl From Ipanema" features Tom Jobim's grandson, Daniel Jobim, singing the Portuguese lyrics.
Another standout is his interpretation of Sweet Baby James' "Your Smiling Face," with its Bossa Nova twist, this has become one of the best versions I've ever heard. I'm sure Mr. Taylor would have liked it. His renditions of Bossa Nova staples "Desafinado," "One Note Samba" and "So Danco Samba" and Stephen Sondheim's "I Remember" are fabulous. His own composition "Francesca" is so nice and has an exotic rhythm to it.
My ultimate favorite in this CD is Paul Williams/Ivan Lins/Victor Martins' "Love Dance." It's a very mellow song with words so eloquent and the music so pleasing to the ears. Thank you Amazon.com for recommending this CD and many thanks to Mr. Pizzarelli for including this lovely song in your repertoire. Not to mention the equally talented jazz musicians who have helped Pizzarelli make this recording worthy to Bossa Nova fans: Ray Kennedy (piano), Martin Pizzarelli (bass), Paulinho Braga (drums), Jim Saporito (percussion), Cesar Mariano (piano - "So Danco Samba"), Harry Allen (tenor sax) and Chiara Civello (background vocals).
This is certainly a CD-for-all-seasons!
Nevertheless, many listeners are just not crazy about the technical quality of the CD, and feel it's not up to Telarc's usual standard. Nor are others who complain, with some justice, that many of the tracks are too well known already: "One Note Samba," "Fascinating Rhythm," "The Girl from Ipanema," for heaven's sake; "Desafinado;"James Taylor's "Smiling Face." These have all been hits in the originals, for other artists; and it's not so easy to reimagine such a well-known repertory, let alone compete with the natives in the category of somebody else's music.
Pizzarelli, son of iconic jazz guitarist Bucky, is here backed by two of his usual sidemen at the time, Ray Kennedy on piano, and Martin Pizzarelli on drums, in addition to being joined by the many Brazilian performers. I won't kid you: he doesn't sound really Brazilian. Still, his light, rhythmic, vivacious guitar suits the material well, as does his voice. And he obviously loves the material, knows it very well: he and his trio have been touring Brazil since 1996. He remarks in his liner notes that "he'll never forget an evening in Sao Paolo in 1998 at a club called Bourbon Street. The crowd was asking for an encore....A photographer shouted "Girl From Ipanema."After I sang the first chorus in English, the audience, two hundred strong, sang a chorus in Portuguese. I felt as if I was hearing them sing their national anthem."
I caught one of his performances in support of this record's release here in Wilmington, N.C., and it was certainly enjoyable. If you can buy but one bossa nova record, or one John Pizzarelli record, it probably shouldn't be this one. But it's a nice addition to the library of anyone who likes Brazilian/jazz/pop music.
Most recent customer reviews
How about a 21 gun salute!
I just personally find it completely boring,
like any lounge music.
My 78 year old uncle heard Pizzarelli do a 'Brazilian' bossa nova jazz concert in Salt Lake City and thought that I would like this...Read more