Afterglow Jazz and American Popular Song

When the Chairman of the Board Met the Bossa: Sinatra and Jobim

A classic late-1960s encounter, plus music from Sergio Mendes, Brad Mehldau, and other music to start off the month of May in a mellow way.

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Sinatra Jobim

Photo: CD cover art

A fine musical romance: Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim.

This week’s Afterglow features Frank Sinatra’s compelling 1967 collaboration with Brazilian songwriter, singer, and pianist/guitarist Antonio Carlos Jobim, generally considered to be the father of the bossa nova style. It was an interesting time for Sinatra; he’d just turned 50 a couple of years before and had recently had a huge hit with “Strangers in the Night,” but he was still trying to navigate the sudden changes in taste that had thrown the popular-music world into so much upheaval. Bossa nova, which had been in vogue for several years at that point, was, as writer Will Friedwald points out, one of the more readily adaptable approaches for an old-school popular song artist like Sinatra to take.

Sinatra not only liked Jobim’s music, he wanted Jobim himself on the album as well, which led to frequent Jobim arranger Claus Ogerman joining the date too. Sinatra sang very softly on this record; he joked in the liner notes that “I haven’t sang this softly since I had the laryngitis.” The album did well, getting into the top 20 and staying on the charts for half a year, considered successful enough for Sinatra and Jobim to record a sequel two years later. Concord Records recently put all of the Sinatra-Jobim material on a single CD, and we’ll hear several sides from the first album on the show.

We’ll also hear from Mel Torme, Chris Connor, Brad Mehldau, Rene Marie, Duke Ellington, Sergio Mendes, the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra, and Cassandra Wilson.

Watch Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim performing together in 1967:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1bVpbu8bXQ

Music Heard On This Episode

Tabellae Ex Terra
Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra — Mezzanine (Owl, 2010)
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Tabellae Ex Terra
Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra — Mezzanine (Owl, 2010)
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One Morning in May
Mel Torme — Classic Hoagy Carmichael (Smithsonian, 1994)
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All the Things You Are
Chris Connor/Maynard Ferguson — Double Exposure (Collector's Choice, 2003)
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A Gypsy Without a Song
Duke Ellington — 1932-40 Brunswick/Columbia/Master Ellington (Mosaic Records, 2010)
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The Girl From Ipanema
Frank Sinatra/Antonio Carlos Jobim — Sinatra-Jobim: the Complete Reprise Recordings (Concord, 2010)
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Dindi
Frank Sinatra/Antonio Carlos Jobim — Sinatra-Jobim: the Complete Reprise Recordings (Concord, 2010)
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A Blues Serenade (midpoint music bed)
Duke Ellington — 1932-40 Brunswick/Columbia/Master Ellington (Mosaic Records, 2010)
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Last Train to Clarksville
Cassandra Wilson — New Moon Daughter (Blue Note, 1996)
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Martha My Dear
Brad Mehldau — Live in Marciac (Nonesuch, 2011)
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Going Out of My Head
Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66 — Celebration: a Musical Journey (Emarcy/Verve, 2011)
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Meditation
Frank Sinatra/Antonio Carlos Jobim — Sinatra-Jobim: the Complete Reprise Recordings (Concord, 2010)
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Invitation
Stan Getz — My Foolish Heart: Live at the Left Bank (Sin-drome, 2004)
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I Ain't Gonna Let You Break My Heart Again
Rene Marie — Experiment in Truth (Rene Marie, 2007)
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David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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  • http://profiles.google.com/pgsroufe Gordon Sroufe

    This is one of my favorite Sinatra albums.  The cool bossa nova style of Jobim fits with the mellow voice of The Chairman of the Board

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