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Bossa Nova

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Album Review

John Pizzarelli's love affair with the bossa nova stretched back over two decades prior to the making of this CD, which is his salute to the legendary João Gilberto. Accompanied by his regular group (pianist Ray Kennedy and bassist Martin Pizzarelli) and augmented by drummer Paulinho Braga and percussionist Jim Saporito, along with several others on selected tracks, Pizzarelli's soft, swinging vocals and strong but understated guitar work their magic throughout the session. While most of the pieces are Brazilian works, there are exceptions. Gershwin's "Fascinatin' Rhythm" is easily adapted into a bossa nova, adding backing vocals and the potent tenor sax of Harry Allen. Rocker James Taylor's "Your Smiling Face" benefits from the brisker setting and a flute choir backing Pizzarelli. Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim's "I Remember" adds Don Sebesky's string arrangement, carefully filling the backgrounds in this beautifully sung ballad. Of course, several songs are devoted to the timeless compositions of Antonio Carlos Jobim. All five present on this date have been recorded so frequently that it would be hard to come up with landmark interpretations, but Pizzarelli and company do justice to all of them. Also worth investigating are the leader's two originals, the swinging "Francesca" and the breezy "Soares Samba." The intimate sound throughout this recording is an additional bonus.

Customer Reviews

Well done

After a tough day make a drink(martini), pop this album in, and get a comfy chair...prepare for a mood altering experience, no pills required. As a Pizzarelli fan, I am biased, but this is jazz at it's finest...his guitar playing is excellent as always and translates well into this,"Latin" style. A ,"must have" for jazz fans from the afficianado to the lounge lizzard. Well done Mr P.

Nice album

I really enjoy this album. A nice mix of bossa nova standards and original music. I really like the instrumental pieces. Well worth a listen.

Biography

Born: April 6, 1960 in Paterson, NJ

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Jazz guitarist/vocalist John Pizzarelli is a technically proficient fretman with a soft voice, charming stage presence, and knack for uptempo swing. Most often performing in a trio setting sans drums, Pizzarelli has found his niche covering jazz standards and American popular song in his own urbane style. The son of journeyman swing guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, John began performing with his father at age 20 and made his recorded debut with his 1983 release, I'm Hip — Please Don't Tell My Father....
Full Bio
Bossa Nova, John Pizzarelli
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