Jazz Vocals

Sinatra Meets Jobim

13 MAY 10 ANNE FARNSWORTH

After Stan Getz introduced bossa nova to American jazz audiences, Frank Sinatra widened its appeal by recording the "new sound" with its most famous composer, Antonio Carlos Jobim. The two albums he recorded are now paired in a special Concord Records release, Sinatra/Jobim: The Complete Reprise Recordings.

One key to Sinatra's popularity was his willingness to counter his hard-drinking man's man persona with a moony sensitivity in matters of romance. Jobim, the gentle Brazilian Byron, brings out even more vulnerability in Sinatra's voice. It's not only the beautiful imagery of his lyrics that touch the soul of anyone singing them, but the duets between the two singers that soften Sinatra's swagger. As they trade lines on the rarely heard opening verse of "Desafinado," Sinatra modulates his tone to match Jobim's. On "Wave," Sinatra navigates the style-defining chromaticism with perfect intonation, tossing off the lines with just the right amount of nonchalance.

The two giants combined their production staffs as well. Jobim brought arrangers and percussionists, while Sinatra supplied his producer and the famous orchestra. There are 20 cuts on the combined albums and each one is a treasure -- a must have for fans of either man.