Glenn Zottola: The Bossa Nova Story, Glenn Zottola, Salutes Stan Getz review By EDWARD BLANCO in All About Jazz June 6, 2014 6683 Views
Trumpeter and saxophonist Glenn Zottola has been a serious part of the music business for more than four decades, recording over 50 albums as a sideman and leader as well as adding Broadway and TV show musician to his resume. In 2014, Zottola decided to embark on the tribute circle recording a series of homage albums for the Classic Jazz Records label such as (Clifford Brown Remembered (Classic Jazz Records, 2014), Reflections of Charlie Parker (Classic Jazz Records, 2014) and now, The Bossa Nova Story, Glenn Zottola, Salutes Stan Getz. The album is a combine tribute to Getz’s involvement in the bossa nova, the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Brazilian jazz in general. The result of course, is a warm and beautiful portrait of the bossa style from the perspective of the tenor saxophone and the everlasting influence Stan Getz left on the music. The world first learned of the samba and bossa nova from the 1959 film Black Orpheus by French director Marcel Camus where the original sound track had a Luiz Bonfa composition “Manha de Carnival” represented on this album as simply “Black Orpheus.” The album starts off with the Orpheus song led by a gorgeous introduction from Argentinian guitarist Marcelo Berestovoy leading to Zottola’s masterful solos on the piece. There have been many interpretations of Jobim’s signature piece, “The Girl from Ipanema” but somehow, Zottola’s Getz’s impersonation, along with Tom Hartman’s string arrangements, elevates this one to elite status. On the fiftieth anniversary of this classic and the twentieth anniversary of Jobim’s passing, this seemed a perfect inclusion to The Bossa Nova Story. The Getz/bossa homage rolls right along with delightful treatments of such classics as “Gentle Rain,” “Once I Loved” and Zottola’s superb interpretation of Jobim’s “One Note Samba” equally as enchanting as the famous Getz instrumental rendition. Other immortal Jobim classic such as “Dindi,” Meditation,” and “Triste,” are all presented with the saxophonist leading the way with tasteful accompaniment from a stellar cast of players and a delightful string section. Also Included in this tribute album are non-bossa standards like Cole Porter’s “I Concentrate on You,” and the Robert Wright/George Forrest classic “Baubles, Bangles and Beads”—both transformed into bossa songs on the Grammy—nominated Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim (Reprise, 1967) recording. The program ends as it began with a delicious interpretation of another Bonfa standard “Samba de Orfeu” where the saxophonist’s high flying solos are splendidly supported by guitarist Berestovoy with a little help from percussionist Emiliano Almeida capping off a memorable taste of Brazil. As tribute albums go, Glenn Zottola’s The Bossa Nova Story tells a tale of a jazz icon whose saxophone changed the music and of a musical style that changed the world. The great Stan Getz and Antonio Carlos Jobim are no doubt, smiling from heaven after hearing Zottola’s graceful treatment of their enduring music, well done!