Master Composers: Ol’ Blue Eyes certainly left his mark on Brazilian jazz

Struggling to find a different direction during most of the 1950’s and 1960’s when most Baby Boomers shifted their attention to rockers like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra (who would have celebrated a birthday on December 12, ironically enough who shares a birthday with popular Fox Business anchor/reporter Liz Claman and one-time child actor from Little House on the Prairie fame in Melissa Francis) was looking hard to take his career in a different direction.  And it turned out to be a daring, but very bold move.

Legend has it that after starring in a few movies, Tony Rome and Von Ryan’s Express, he placed a phone call to Antonio Carlos Jobim.  A few plane rides later between Los Angeles and Barbados led to some tinkering of the musical arrangements and it resulted in two really awesome albums:

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Images courtesy of eli.com and theseconddisc.com

The 1967 album cover featured a very jazzy version of “The Girl from Ipanema” and a nice vocal on Track 6, “If You Never Come To Me”.  Track 9, just fyi–would also be redubbed in 1994 by Laura Fygi with a more cocktail jazzy version of “Baubles, Bangles, and Beads.”  Even the liner notes penned so cleverly by Stan Cornyn is a definite great read on how they paired with Claus Ogerman to make the rhythms and the beats sound oh so perfect.

Four years later came their second effort with top hits on Track 5, “This Happy Madness” (my favorite Sinatra song) and other nice hits such as, “Don’t Ever Go Away”, “Close To You,” “Bein’ Green”, and “Lady Day.”  Those liner notes basically captured Sinatra as one of the 20th century masters covering many genres of music and film, almost a soft obituary in my mind after glancing at the notes penned by Charles Champlin, former columnist for the Los Angeles Times.  Eumir Deodato also was heard in some songs.

Even though a separate 6 CD compilation set would later surface, fans should definitely get this pair of timeless albums to add to their jazz collection.

Speaking of famous men named Frank, I don’t know if my next blog will serve me well in some circles around Rio.  However, with this being the holiday season–I thought Franco Sattamini’s really cool holiday album deserves a mention.  Please see the next blog above and you will know a bit why I am beginning to like it during both this festive and joyous time of year.

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