[Today: Let’s do the Samba with Ol’ Blues Eyes…]
What at first appears to be a crass, opportunistic attempt by Sinatra to cash in on the musical trend that was Bossa Nova actually reveals itself to be a tasteful and surprisingly swinging effort. Sinatra’s croon is pulled back to near-whisper (“I haven’t sung this softly since I had laryngitis,” he says in the album notes), and it perfectly suits Jobim’s understated material. The opener ‘Girl From Ipanema’ sets the tone, as what could (and rightly should) sound like parody comes off as a striking interpretation of the Brazilian sound. Nobody will ever confuse this with Sinatra’s best, and it won’t change your life, but for a nice album to listen to on a sunny Sunday afternoon, it does just fine.