Antonio Carlos Jobim’s classic “Dindi”
I’m pleased to share my arrangement of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s classic song “Dindi” with you.
The intro I arranged as a free “cadenza” which introduces the arrangement of Dindi.
I then composed a solo based on Blues riffs and a ‘Rock feel’ before I settle back into the Bridge and the original Bossa Nova style.
Considered the father of Bossa Nova, Jobim’s music was enormously popular in the 60’s, in fact there was a bit of a Bossa Nova craze of sorts.
It was something new… different and had the same affect on audiences in the English speaking world that Reggae had a generation later.
Bossa Nova became popular with Jazz musicians especially Stan Getz the great saxophone player who recorded with Joao & Astrud Gilberto and had their massive world wide hit with Jobim’s “Girl From Ipanema”.
Bossa Nova as a genre was established.
Jobim was to record an album with Frank Sinatra simply called “Francis Albert Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim”, along with “Girl From Ipanema”, Dindi is also featured with Sinatra singing with Jobim on piano.
(I’ve added the Youtube video of this performance below)
Curiously… Sinatra had won back to back Grammy awards for best album in 1966 and 1967 but the Sinatra/Jobim collaboration was piped at the post by the Beatles Sgt Peoper’s in 1968.
The Legendary Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra was a huge star and even today is one of the biggest selling recording artists of all time.
He had a career that saw him play with the greats.
He started out as the singing waiter at a roadhouse restaurant called “The Rustic Cabin” in Englewood New Jersey.
His voice was really something special and he soon caught the attention of major league musicians which led to an invitation to join Tommy Dorsey’s band which gave him a national audience.
He later went solo and became America’s heart throb. Sinatra’s concerts were sell out’s and packed with young adoring girls.
Cashing in on his popularity Hollywood movies followed, like “From Here To Eternity”, but during this hectic schedule he found time to record prolifically. Interestingly, the standard song repertoire that we call the Great American Songbook, Frank Sinatra would have covered just about every one of those songs over the period of his career.
His versions were always the benchmark and the arrangers that he worked with like Nelson Riddle, Billy May and Quincy Jones would create sophisticated instrumental backing for Sinatra’s voice.
We forget sometimes that recorded music had a long process of evolution.
Originally you could only fit a short amount of time onto a record so only one song would fit. But later when the “long play” record was developed Sinatra was tailor-made for this innovation; his choice of songs and the order of the songs for the LP were designed to give the listener an experience.
A Sinatra album was more than just some songs slapped together, his albums were a suite of songs.
In a way this foreshadowed the concept albums of Pink Floyd, Yes or Genesis.
Sinatra was so popular that he was asked to help promote the Presidential campaigns of Kennedy, Nixon & Reagan.
He even recorded a song for Kennedy’s campaign and it seemed everything he touched turned to gold!
Furthermore, The Record Label that he was signed to was riding high with success but Sinatra eventually became frustrated at Capitol feeling he needed more creative input with his recordings.
Sinatra left Capitol and formed his own label “Reprise” and quickly it became an influential and important force in contemporary music with acts like Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, Neil Young & Joni Mitchell signed to Reprise.
Many of them were residents of “Laurel Canyon”.
During the 60’s & 70’s California had two music hotspots.
In San Fransisco it was “Haight Ashbury” but in Los Angeles it was Laurel Canyon.
Because it was cheap, yet close to LA. Laurel Canyon attracted many bands and musicians where they could live cheaply and spend all their time writing and composing music then rehearsing their act to be concert ready.
There was plenty of jamming and interchanging of ideas, conveniently being close to LA there were plenty of venues like The Ashgrove, The Troubadour, The Roxy or Whisky A Go Go where they could play or check out other bands.
There’s an excellent documentary called “Laurel Canyon” which tells its story and the musicians that resided at Laurel Canyon were some of the most influential that contemporary music produced.
The Doors, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Linda Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa & The Eagles to mention a few.
With such an eclectic collection of musicians in the Reprise stable it’s fitting that Sinatra (nicknamed the chairman of the board) should record an album of Bossa Nova tunes with Jobim illustrating what an interesting and exciting time it was for music.
Sinatra nearly caused an international incident when he toured Australia in 1974.
The Sinatra/Australian Black Ban
Australian journalists were following him constantly much to Sinatra’s annoyance so he exploded with an outburst where he called the female journalists “hookers”.
The full quote:
“we have to run all day long. They’re parasites who take everything and give nothing and the broads who work for the press, they’re the hookers of the press. I might offer them a buck and a half, I’m not sure”.Frank Sinatra
The Australian Unions were outraged and responded by slapping a black ban on him and any air travel that Sinatra would take which basically grounded him in Sydney.
He couldn’t even cancel the tour and leave Australia, he was stuck unless he apologised which he refused to do.
The President of the ACTU at the time was Bob Hawke, who went on to be Australia’s 3rd longest serving Prime Minister.
Hawke met with Sinatra in an attempt to broker a peace deal.
Sinatra eventually agreed to make a statement saying that he regretted the situation and Hawke was able to convince the Unions to call off the black ban.
My arrangement of Dindi doesn’t have much in common with Sinatra’s version but it helped to hear his as a place to start in making my arrangement which was a lot of fun doing.