UNCUT - - Archive - JOHN LEWis

Or­ches­tral bossa nova sum­mit gets 50th-an­niver­sary re­mas­tered vinyl treat­ment

Dur­ing the ’60s, while Si­na­tra was stum­bling through Bea­tles, Paul Si­mon and Joni Mitchell cov­ers that he clearly hated, there was an en­tire strain of pop­u­lar mu­sic that suited him like a glove. Bossa nova had been per­co­lat­ing into US pop cul­ture since the late ’50s, and Si­na­tra’s sur­pris­ingly late ar­rival to the party re­mains one of his finest pieces of work. This part­ner­ship with the Brazil­ian ar­chi­tect of the genre is a 29-minute mas­ter­class in or­ches­tral bossa nova. Claus Oger­man’s ar­range­ments are quiet but in­cred­i­bly de­tailed; the closely mic’d ny­lon-strung gui­tar sounds de­li­cious; while Si­na­tra’s con­trolled bari­tone barely raises above a mur­mur. On Jo­bim songs like “Dindi” and “Cor­co­v­ado”, Si­na­tra lags lazily be­hind the beat, while the Kis­met stan­dard “Baubles, Ban­gles And Beads” – a song that Si­na­tra had pre­vi­ously swung hard with Billy May’s or­ches­tra – is beau­ti­fully trans­formed into a bossa nova. Ex­tras: 8/10. A six-minute med­ley of Jo­bim songs from ’67 TV spe­cial, Frank Si­na­tra: A Man And His Mu­sic + Ella + Jo­bim; and an in­struc­tive re­hearsal take of “Girl From Ipanema” (“Don’t let it run away, fel­las, with the tempo; let it set­tle down,” in­structs Frank. “It’s got a gang of words”).

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