Archive for April 5th, 2014

Les Sabler – Jobim Tribute

JobimTributeBefore Les Sabler began recording “Jobim Tribute,” which will be released April 8 on New Vista Records, the jazz guitarist-vocalist walked a mile in the shoes of the iconic Brazilian composer known for writing exquisitely poetic romantic standards that popularized bossa nova. An inspired Sabler trekked to Brazil, visited the places Jobim frequented and absorbed the native culture and sounds. He voraciously studied recordings and read stacks of books about Jobim’s life. Sagely he knew that fostering authenticity on a collection of twelve Jobim songs involved more than just playing the right notes on his nylon string guitar or mastering the pronunciation of the Portuguese lyrics. Sabler, who produced the album, recognized that the most important ingredient was to capture the soulful passion inherent in the author’s touching melodies and sensually exotic rhythms.

The timing of Sabler’s record correlates to two milestones: the 50th anniversary of the classic “Getz/Gilberto” that spawned Jobim’s No. 1 hit “The Girl from Ipanema,” which helped weave bossa nova permanently into the fabric of American music; and the 20th anniversary of Jobim’s passing. When selecting material for “Jobim Tribute,” which is comprised of seven vocal tunes and five instrumentals, Sabler challenged himself by recording some of Jobim’s lesser known gems (“Esquecendo Voce” and “Janelas Abertas”) as well as popular favorites such as “Corcovado,” “Bonita” and “Fotografia.” The first single that was just shipped to radio stations for airplay is Sabler’s rendition of “A Felicidade,” a sweeping wave of joyous melody, nifty guitar fingerplay and an ethereal vocal chorus.

Produced, arranged and performed in acoustic jazz settings, Sabler was accompanied by keyboardist Clay Perry (Julio Iglesias), acoustic bassist Byron House (Robert Plant’s Band of Joy), Brazilian drummer-percussionist Celso Alberti (Flora Purim, Stevie Winwood) and the late percussionist Joe Lala (CSNY, Bee Gees). Allon Sams scripted string arrangements as did Grammy-nominated arranger Tom Zink, who orchestrated a 4-piece string section that added emotional depth on three selections.

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