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Music Review: Frank Sinatra – Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim: The Complete Reprise Recordings

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Frank Sinatra released dozens of albums for the Reprise label beginning in 1961. Every once in awhile he would share equal billing with the likes of Bing Crosby, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and the co-subject of this review, one A.C. Jobim.

Antonio Carlos Jobim was a popular Brazilian songwriter, composer, arranger, vocalist, guitarist, and piano player. Immensely respected in his home country, he gained commercial acceptance in The United States for his albums with Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto. Their first 1964 project together won four Grammy Awards and helped to introduce the Bossa Nova to American music fans.

Sinatra and Jobim went into the studio together during 1967. Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim,, with Jobim providing backing on guitar, piano, and vocals, was released during March and would be a commercial success reaching number 19 on The American pop charts. Nearly two years later, during February 1969, they returned to the studio and recorded ten more tracks for a follow-up album. Sinatra-Jobim was quickly released and then just as quickly withdrawn per Sinatra’s instructions. Only a few odd copies managed to escape destruction. 1971’sSinatra & Company would include a number of these withdrawn tracks, but the rest disappeared into the Reprise vaults and would not see the light of day until they were issued on a box set several decades later.

The Concord Music Group has now released Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim: The Complete Reprise Recordings, which gathers all of their recorded songs into one place.

The performances obviously have a Latin flavor both in terms of sound and song selection, but Sinatra’s interpretive style pushes them into the pop style of music. Jobim co-wrote seven of the songs for their first release and co-wrote all ten for the second. “The Girl From Ipanema,” “Once I Loved,” “Meditation,” “The Song Of Sabia,” “One Note Samba,” and “Wave” all provide good vehicles for Sinatra’s voice which was at its best during this time period.

The Complete Reprise Recordings assembles an interesting group of songs from Frank Sinatra’s legendary career. The material may be a little different from the norm, but it also catches him taking a few chances. The music holds up well over the years and makes this release a must for his old and new fans alike.

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