Sunday, August 26, 2007

Jobim, the greatest


Antonio Carlos Jobim (1927-1994)
If there is one contemporary popular composer whose music epitomizes the word "classic", it is Brazilian-born Jobim. Compared to George Gershwin for the sophistication of his songwritting, jobim established himself in the 1960's as the driving force behind the "bossa nova", and since then has written more than 300 International hits, many now standards.
Jobim's popularity places him easily among the ten most recorded popular composers in the United States and his success abroad is, if anything, even stronger.

The song "Desafinado" with Stan Getz (1962): to everyone's surprise, even jobim's, the recording sold over one million copies and signalled the beginning of the "bossa nova" movement in the united states. the song won the naras award for "best jazz performance" in 1962 followed by "the girl from ipanema" which won "record of the year" in 1964.

During the 1970's jobim spent much time in California.
during this period he composed "wave " and "triste".
the 1980's precipitated jobim's permanent return to Brazil. He lives in one of rio's most beautiful residential districts, in the shadow of Corcovado mountain, the inspiration for one of his most beautiful songs. Admitting a great fondness for new-York, jobim spends several months a year in manhattan catching up with old friends, and, of course, composing.

Antonio Carlos Jobim stands not only as an embassador for the rich musical traditions of Brazil, but also as a light for musicians and composers the world over................

"I believe the natural setting of Rio de Janeiro helped me very much - the sea, the mountains, the birds, the lake. I am a son of mother nature" (Antonio Carlos Jobim)

When the tragic news reached Brazil that perhaps the greatest figure in the history of that country rich music tradition had unexpectedly died in a New york hospital, editors at the mayor newspapers were quick to look to the music Antonio carlos jobim had spent his life creating to find the best way to express the nation's collective sense of loss. "it's the end of the road" headlined "jornal do brasil", quoting lyrics from "aguas de marco"(waters of march), a major hit for the composer in the early 1970s.

two days later, after jobim's body had been returned to Brazil with great ceremony and buried at a rio cemetery, the same newspaper summed up the sad event by choosing for another headline the title of a song he had written three decades earlier: "all that's left is to say goodbye". "we lost the greatest" notes rio based producer and critic Arnaldo DeSouteiro, a long time Jobim friend and admirer who had produced the musician's last recording session just days before his death on december 8, 1994. Ironically the composer's final recorded work, done for a forthcoming album by vocalist Itamara Koorax, was "all that's left is to say goodbye"..... The president of Brazil renamed the "Rio international airport" to "international airport antonio carlos jobim" a few weeks after his dead.

And just about everywhere on the planet someone was listening to his recorded duet with frank Sinatra or Getz/Gilberto album................

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