For the first time in over three decades, the Frank Sinatra/Antonio Carlos Jobim recordings are now together in The Complete Reprise Recordings, the most comprehensive compilation of the Sinatra/Jobim sessions yet. The re... more »-mastered classics of the two late musical legends include "Dindi," "How Insensitive," "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars," and of course, "The Girl from Ipanema," a Jobim masterpiece covered by numerous colleagues such as pianist Vince Guaraldi. In addition to those, there are three new bonus tracks on this reprise that allow for a new compositional spark that perfectly compliment the jazz standards that Jobim arranges in his distinct Brazilian bossa nova style. The Complete Reprise Recordings are a must-have for any collector, and a new lifestyle for dedicated Sinatra/Jobim fans. Sinatra's voice has been heard around the world, and as it is matched flawlessly with the compositional genius of Antonio Carlos Jobim, his fame will continue to grow more than a decade after his passing.« less
For the first time in over three decades, the Frank Sinatra/Antonio Carlos Jobim recordings are now together in The Complete Reprise Recordings, the most comprehensive compilation of the Sinatra/Jobim sessions yet. The re-mastered classics of the two late musical legends include "Dindi," "How Insensitive," "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars," and of course, "The Girl from Ipanema," a Jobim masterpiece covered by numerous colleagues such as pianist Vince Guaraldi. In addition to those, there are three new bonus tracks on this reprise that allow for a new compositional spark that perfectly compliment the jazz standards that Jobim arranges in his distinct Brazilian bossa nova style. The Complete Reprise Recordings are a must-have for any collector, and a new lifestyle for dedicated Sinatra/Jobim fans. Sinatra's voice has been heard around the world, and as it is matched flawlessly with the compositional genius of Antonio Carlos Jobim, his fame will continue to grow more than a decade after his passing.
Great music, Awful Sound
Matt Lutthans | Marysville, WA | 05/05/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I love the music on this CD, and have in the many editions I've purchased over the years. My beef is with 1.) The sonics on this new (and poor sounding) remix, and 2.) the five (yes five) chosen-for-artisitic-reasons edits that were in the original mixes that were ignored when the remix was put together, meaning now we get to hear "warts" that could easily have been worked around, just as they were on the previous mix. (The painfully obvious one: the wrong bass note at 2:24 in Corcovado.)
If you listen on a boom box or iPod, the new CD will prove to be a perfectly fine source. If you listen critically, stick with the previous CD issues. The convenience of a single disc here is a nice feature, but the sound? Not so much."
Not perfect - stereo image narrowed
Harry Gene Neyhart | Sunny Central Florida, USA | 05/07/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This title has long been wanted by fans, yet sadly, this Concord release does not quite live up to that expectation. My initial thoughts when listening in the car on the way home from the store where I bought the disc was that the disc sounded great and that the mastering sounded pretty good.
Later on, at home, with more time and better hardware to critically examine the disc, it became clear that the new disc wasn't all it could be. Yes, the songs are all there in all their glory; yes, the reverb was toned down from prior releases; but something was not quite right.
Digging out the old LPs and CDs of this material, I found the situation getting clearer. One thing that immediately jumped out at me was the narrowing of the stereo on many of the tracks. To me, the old late '60s style of stereo separation was something to be enjoyed. Just like on the old Beatles records, certain placements of sounds in the hard right or hard left are simply part of the experience of these tracks. To now change that to something less removes something from that experience.
A good example is on the track "Drinking Water (Agua de Beber)". On that track, on both the old LP and CD of SINATRA AND COMPANY, we can hear Antonio Carlos Jobim's vocals in the hard left channel. Here on the new disc, that vocal is now nearly centered, vaguely toward the right of the stereo image. The other instrumentation on these tracks is also compromised, moving from a hard left or right positioning to nearer the center, basically removing the exciting nature of the old stereo.
I can understand *why* this is done - it's a function of the "headphone" generation. People all over the world are listening to their music on portable players with headphones, and the fact is that older stereo, with hard left or right panning, becomes a little uncomfortable under those circumstances. So, the mastering decisions are now made with that audience in mind. It bothers me that we who are not headphone-bound have to suffer because of those who are.
I've since learned from reports on the Internet that some edits to the original material (done to polish up the original recordings) have been missed in this version. As a result, some "wrong notes" are leaking through on this edition, like the word "day" at 1:11 in "The Girl From Ipanema". There are a few other examples like that, but this one's probably the worst.
The new SINATRA/JOBIM disc may be useful for a lot of people who've never heard the three rarer tracks. It puts them all in one handy place (albeit with an unfortunately compromised stereo image)."
Warning: May impart chills, take breath away, even in small
Mark Blackburn | Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada | 05/04/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ask any serious Sinatra fan to "name your `Top 5' albums by your favorite singer" and "SINATRA/JOBIM" is almost certain to make their list. (In fact, it's `Number 6' on mine, and I own 70 Sinatra CDs!)
This newly re-mastered CONCORD edition comprises TWO albums, plus some bonus tracks some of us had not heard before (at least not till recently -- on SiriuslySinatra satellite radio). The `previously unreleased' rarities include "SONG OF THE SABIA" and "BONITA."
Though it didn't merit a mention in the "Amazon Product Description," close to half these wonderful songs were orchestrated/conducted by Brazil's Eumir Deodato, shortly before his own, instrumental, `solo' career really took off, (selling millions of albums in the early 70s as the acknowledged precursor of today's "soft jazz").
[Like the other gifted arranger featured here, Polish-born Claus Ogerman, Eumir Deodato is alive & well (living in Rio) and still happily arranging for other artists. And for the record, Deodato will still tell you that his arrangement for Sinatra's `definitive' performance of "WAVE" (still my favorite track here) remains one of the `peak experiences' of his life.]
A lyricist who wrote four of the songs here, Canadian-born Gene Lees died two weeks ago (April 22) at his home in California, (leaving behind an unfinished biography of his good friend Artie Shaw). Lees was `present at the creation' that magic night in 1967: He was there at Sinatra's invitation in the recording studio, holding his breath in silence, his heart brimming with joy, as Sinatra delivered "the definitive reading" of "QUIET NIGHTS OF QUIET STARS." (Lees also co-wrote `Track 2' here, "DINDI," as well as "SOMEONE TO LIGHT UP MY LIFE" and (my personal favorite of his up-tempo songs) "THIS HAPPY MADNESS."
There isn't a bad track here, though the duet of DESAFINADO (in which Sinatra and Jobim exchange the pleasantries of lovers) doesn't work quite so well: Perhaps the producers agreed? It might explain why this one (English sub-titled, "OFF KEY") had to wait 40 years to see the light of day on this "complete" collection of 20 songs.
Gene Lees (82 when he left us) would likely have written his own appreciation for this beautifully-packaged set. Concerning one of his four songs here, `DINDI" (pronounced JIN-jee) Lees said that Sinatra's interpretation . . .
" . . . sends chills up my arms and back. Sinatra's reading [of Dindi] is one of the most exquisite things ever to come out of American popular music."
Lees wrote at the time that "arranger Claus Ogerman, who had been flown to Los Angeles from New York to write and conduct the arrangements, is [standing] ready. Brazilian drummer Dom um Romao, who had been flown out from Chicago to get a better bossa nova feeling than American drummers [were] capable of, touches his cymbals. They start.
"The first song is "ONCE I LOVED." They go through it, Sinatra not really getting into it properly. He sings well, but not with his usual depth of understanding. After a while, he consults with Ogerman and says into the microphone to producer Sonny Burke in the booth, `Let's go on. Let's do "QUIET NIGHTS."
"I tense up like a watchspring. I wrote this lyric and no singer has ever sung it absolutely accurately, a problem that bugged Jobim and me for five years . . . They start, and I barely breathe. As Jobim said, `This man is Mount Everest for a songwriter' [meaning] if Sinatra gets it right, we can quit worrying.
"He does, and I realize that what I've heard about Sinatra's respect for the songwriter's intentions is quite correct. They do it again [on the second take] and raise the level even further, and at last they're satisfied."
[Later that same evening Sinatra will slip into the next recording studio and with a smaller group of musicians, record Something Stupid with his first-born, Nancy. Lees recalled]
"As the date progresses, the atmosphere grows looser. By now the control booth is crowded . . . singer Keely Smith dropped by to listen. Nancy Sinatra, much prettier and softer than she seems in photographs, comes in with several friends. She walks into the studio to see her father. He hugs her and grins. He has a warm rich smile. Then, they do another tune."
One last thought from the composer of "QUIET NIGHTS" - concerning Sinatra's take on DINDI:
"It is filled with longing. It aches. Somewhere within him, Frank Sinatra aches. And that's fine. That's the way it's always been; the audience's pleasure derives from the artist's pain."
-- Gene Lees (1967)
Something's Not Quite Right
John T. | Philadelphia, PA | 05/14/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Several reviewers have stated that edits made to correct flaws in the original vocal and instrumental performances were ignored in the preparation of this disc. As soon as I put the disc in my car CD player I, too, knew that something was amiss. But I got that feeling almost immediately on the very first track ("The Girl From Ipanema") long before the "clam" on the word "day" that everyone is talking about. I immediately realized that the entire vocal for this classic song was an alternate to the one used on the original LP (and the first CD versions). Listen to the phrasing of the very first verse and you'll see what I mean. On the original, Sinatra uses short pauses to emphasize "tan", "young" and "lovely" and a brief pause between "the girl from Ipanema goes walking and" and "when she passes each one she passes..." This way of phrasing gave the song its laidback, understated, relaxing bossa-nova feel. The vocal we get on this release is Frank rushing through the entire first verse (one VERY long sentence) as if he's in a race with himself and daring himself not to take a breath. Ironically, the legato phrasing for which Sinatra is justifiably famous and admired is not the best way to put this song over and I will guarantee that Frank knew it, made adjustments and got it right on the next take. Why this alternate vocal was used is anyone's guess but I've got a feeling that alternate vocals, or portions thereof, were used on other songs on this disc as well. Many of them just don't sound like the original LP.
There are also several crackling sounds present in the early moments of "Dindi" that mar that classic performance as well. These cases, plus the ones cited by other reviewers, render this disc virtually unlistenable to those of us who regard these performances among the most memorable and pleasurable in Sinatra's vast catalogue. Truly a crying shame."
How well did Frank know these songs?
Bill Pen | Hamburg, PA USA | 07/06/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I love this CD. I've listened to it maybe twenty times in the past couple weeks. I love both Sinatra and Jobim. My sense from listening may be mistaken, but I imagine Sinatra not being well-acquainted with some of these songs. With the older swing tunes, he is perfectly at ease, but with a lot of the bossa nova pieces, I imagined him reading the music as he sang. He hits the notes and the sound is beautiful, but he doesn't really make the songs his own. That's why I've given this 4 stars. By contrast, there's a YouTube clip of Sinatra and Jobim on stage where Sinatra is perfectly comfortable with everything they sing and performs it flawlessly and with great flair. (It's interesting to see him lighting up a cigarette and smoking during the medley--how times change.) I with Sinatra sounded as comfortable with the songs here. I suppose that by the time he sang them on TV, he'd become a lot more familiar with them."