Clooney-Pizzarelli CD Bridges Generation Gap

Brazil debuts on Billboard's Top Jazz albums chart at #12.

Singer Rosemary Clooney and guitarist John Pizzarelli's theme album Brazildebuts on Billboard's Top Jazz albums chart this week at #12, following its June 6 release.

The disc largely features Clooney and Pizzarelli's interpretations of Brazilian standards such as "Corcovado," "Boy From Ipanema" and "One-Note Samba."

Part of the Concord CD's success can be attributed to guests such as singer Diana Krall. But it also works, according to Brazil's producer Allen Sviridoff, because Clooney's style is so complimentary to Brazilian music.

"Brazilian music, like the Portuguese heritage that it is rooted in, is extremely emotional," said Sviridoff, who has worked with Clooney for 21 years. "If you listen to the chord changes and the words, everything is rooted in drama. Rosemary has such an emotional portrayal of songs in her voice that no one could interpret these any better."

The album is also successful because it transcends the generation gap between the 73-year-old Clooney and the 31-year-old Pizzarelli, according to Sviridoff. Pizzarelli's father, guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, has been recording since the early 1950s. He has released three albums with his son, including Contrasts, in 1999.

Pianist Lyle Mays, best known for his work with guitarist Pat Metheny, debuts on the charts this week at #17 with Solo: Improvisations for Expanded Piano. The album includes the song "This Moment" (RealAudio excerpt).

Meanwhile, Krall continues her domination of the charts with When I Look in Your Eyes at #1, followed by the compilation BET on Jazz Presents: For the Love of Jazz (#2), pianist David Benoit's Here's to You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years (#3), saxophonist Joshua Redman's Beyond (#4), and Medeski, Martin & Wood's Tonic (#5).

Harry Connick Jr.'s Come by Me jumps up five spots to #6, while guitarist Charlie Hunter's self-titled album moves down one to #7 in its second week on the chart. Miles Davis' Love Songs compilation moves up to #8, producer/singer Steve Tyrell's A New Standard drops down five to #9, and Krall's reissued Stepping Out stays at #10.

Billboard's Top Contemporary Jazz album chart sees little change this week with saxophonist Boney James and trumpeter Rick Braun's Shake It Up, guitarist George Benson's Absolute Benson and saxophonist Dave Koz's The Dance, retaining the top three spots, respectively. Kenny G's Classics in the Key of G moves up one to #4, followed by Acoustic Alchemy's The Beautiful Game (#5), singer Al Jarreau's Tomorrow Today (#6) and Boney James' Body Language (#7).

Singer/pianist Keiko Matsui's Whisper From the Mirror holds on to the #8 position, with Urban Knights' Urban Knights III (#9) and singer Maysa's All My Life (#10) finishing off the top 10.