Search - John Pizzarelli :: Bossa Nova

Bossa Nova
John Pizzarelli
Bossa Nova
Genres: International Music, Jazz, Pop, Latin Music
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1

Being the son of a renowned jazz guitarist can be daunting, but Bucky Pizzarelli's son John, a guitarist since the age of six, has been building a formidable career of his own since fronting his first trio in the early 199...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: John Pizzarelli
Title: Bossa Nova
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Telarc
Release Date: 4/27/2004
Genres: International Music, Jazz, Pop, Latin Music
Styles: South & Central America, Brazil, Brazilian Jazz, Latin Jazz, Swing Jazz, Vocal Jazz, Latin Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 089408359125

Being the son of a renowned jazz guitarist can be daunting, but Bucky Pizzarelli's son John, a guitarist since the age of six, has been building a formidable career of his own since fronting his first trio in the early 1990s. With Bossa Nova, Pizzarelli continues to pursue thoughtfully realized thematic projects. This set mixes exceptional versions of five songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim with luscious Brazilian adaptations of standards (including Gershwin's "Fascinating Rhythm") and a couple of Pizzarelli originals. The small ensemble interplay is warmly recorded, and the addition of chorus vocals and string or flute quartets on some of the material adds spice and variety. --David Greenberger

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CD Reviews

John delivers/Telarc flubs it
T. Hoglund | Baltimore, MD | 08/06/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"John Pizzarelli's soft voice is well suited to the understated singing style of Bossa Nova. His singing wraps tightly around the band and on a few tracks, I found myself marveling at how difficult it must have been to perfect the performance. John even manages to breathe life into James Taylor's tired, old pop confection "Your Smiling Face". The band is very tight and the string arrangements are understated and serve the songs well. I have three other of John's recordings and musically this is my favorite.

Now for the bad news: I am mystified by the poor sound of this disc. According to the label's Web site, "Telarc's objective has been to provide the highest quality music reproduction possible." I have other Telarc discs (Jim Hall and Bobby Short) and they all have great sound. However, this album is stuck inside my speakers. John's voice seems trapped. The lack of sound stage renders the recording congested and makes it hard to pick out the individual instruments. When I played the cd for my father, who is by no means an audiophile, he asked if there was something wrong with my stereo (there's not).

It is VERY frustrating to really like the material on an album but be so turned off by its sound. This may not matter to those who listen through their car's cd player or on a boom box. But I suspect there are more than a few audiophiles in John's audience who own stereos capable of revealing the true nature of a recording and then spend lots of time and money to find the few recordings each year that mate great material and great sound. Bossa Nova gets it only half right.

Oh well, there are many other fish in the sea but since I really don't want to throw this one back, I'll put it in my car's cd changer and try to forget what might have been.

Not bad. 8 out of 13 tracks are quite good.
Tom B | Westport, CT USA | 10/24/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I like John Pizzarelli a lot, and have seen him 3 times in concert (once with his father Bucky.) He's terrific. But even more, I love bossa nova and its greats: Gilberto, Jobim et al. John makes an earnest stab at this material, but while he doesn't fall flat, he also doesn't quite snare it. After playing the disc a few times, and wanting to get something out of my purchase, I concluded that for me, 8 of the tracks held up to repeated listening. Since I copy all my discs to computer, it was easy enough to separate out and highlight those tracks. Some of the songs have been over-recorded and overplayed to death, and great as the songs are I couldn't tolerate another halfway, competent but non-brilliant stab at them: One-Note Samba, Girl from Ipanema, Aguas de Marco and Desafinado are better left to their originators. And for me, James Taylor's Your Smiling Face doesn't fit here, although Pizzarelli does a decent job of it. The rest of the album is quite nice, and the 8 songs come to a very pleasant 35 minutes, a good length for an album. I'm glad I bought it, there's really good music here, but you may want to pick your own favorites and skip over the rest."
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 06/22/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"In the liner notes the artist gives a heartfelt tribute to "Amoroso," the Gilberto-Claus Ogerman album that inspired this present effort. Pizzarelli's offering is certainly in the same tasteful, subtle and sensitive vein, though it contributes nothing new to the genre and style. Pizzarelli's voice, if anything, is smaller and slightly pinched compared to either Gilberto's or Jobim's. Moreover, notwithstanding a couple of tracks on which the performer's scatting doubles his facile single-note lines on guitar, there's none of the playfulness of an Astrud Gilberto or the humor of an Elis Regina. Nor do I sense any of the urgency Susannah McCorkle was able to bring to the form or the gravitas, indeed pathos, Sinatra injected in the music during his remarkable meetings with Jobim. On the whole, this latter-day bossa nova program strikes me as a pleasant but largely generic, innocuous and unnecessary offering. At the same time it's a beacon of smart, good taste and highly-skilled musicianship in comparison to most other current pop releases. For fans of Pizzarelli or for listeners with limited bossa nova collections, this recording merits a close look."