Thursday, December 17, 2015

TBT: Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim, "The Girl from Ipanema".

Frank Sinatra's 100th birthday was last Saturday; he died in 1998. Heloísa "Helô" Pinheiro, the original "Girl from Ipanema" (photo), turned 70 last July 7. She was in her late teens when she walked by the cafe where Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes were sitting, and inspired them to write "Garota de Ipanema" ("The Girl from Ipanema"), originally titled "Menina que Passa" ("The Girl Who Passes By") and intended for a musical comedy being written by de Moraes. The song in its final version, in Portuguese, was introduced by Jobim to João Gilberto and Stan Getz, and during a recording session in New York they decided to do an English language version. Gilberto's wife, Astrud, could sing in English, so she was chosen as the vocalist. Her deadpan vocal style added to the song's appeal, and it became a top ten hit on the U.S. pop charts in 1965.



I was looking for something to mark the Sinatra centenary, and hit on this video of his performance with Jobim in 1967. I decided to use it because it's off the beaten track, both in terms of musical style and in his interaction with another singer. Despite my being a reformed nicotine addict, I love it that he drags on a cigarette when he's not singing.