+ Ray Kennedy, Martin Pizzarelli, Paulinho Braga u.a.
“Sao Paulo and Rio are a dream come true for a singing guitarist. There is an understanding of the complexities of accompaniment, a knowledge that understated meditative singing can be more emotional and transcendent than any of the pyrotechnics present in most of today’s popular American music.” —John Pizzarelli, from the liner notes
Brazilian vocalist and guitarist João Gilberto, bossa nova’s premier interpreter, helped launch a musical revolution in the 1950s by harnessing the gentle rhythms and soft, intimate lyrics of samba. Jazz vocalist and guitarist John Pizzarelli honors Gilberto’s spirit and subtly expands on his innovations with the release of Bossa Nova.
Pizzarelli’s fifth Telarc disc delivers a wide variety of tracks ranging from brash to introverted, and includes not only Brazilian standards, but also recently composed music. Bossa Nova overflows with highlights: five classic Antonio Carlos Jobim songs, including “One Note Samba,” “The Girl from Ipanema,” “Waters of March,” “Só Danço Samba” and “Desafinado”; a jaunty adaptation of Gershwin’s “Fascinating Rhythm”; a pair of Pizzarelli originals, “Francesca” and “Soares Samba”; and fresh interpretations of James Taylor’s top 40 hit “Your Smiling Face” and Broadway songwriter Stephen Sondheim’s “I Remember.”
Pizzarelli calls Bossa Nova “a true marriage of American and Brazilian music as well as American and Brazilian musicians.” Produced by Russ Titelman, the project includes Paulinho Braga, who played drums with Jobim for many years, vocalist Daniel Jobim (Jobim's grandson) and Cesar Camargo Mariano, who produced, composed and played on many great Brazilian records, most notably with Elis Regina. The recording features string and flute arrangements by Don Sebesky.
A native of Patterson, New Jersey, John Pizzarelli has been playing guitar since age six, following in the tradition of his father, jazz guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli. Hanging out with his dad, the young Pizzarelli was exposed to all the great music of the era. At age twenty, John began his professional career alongside his famous father. He later ventured out on his own, forming the John Pizzarelli Trio in 1992.
In October 2003, Pizzarelli led a 40-piece orchestra at New York’s Radio City Music Hall in a live theatrical stage production of Sinatra: His Voice, His World, His Way.
Bossa nova is the most personal and international of Brazil’s musical forms. Its “cool” aesthetic—with its gentle rhythms, rich harmonies and seductive delivery—is a perfect match for Pizzarelli’s smooth and casual style. Anyone with open ears and a bent for Brazilian music will enjoy Bossa Nova. (concordmusicgroup. com)