Sunday, July 8, 2012

Positive Quiddity: Composer Antonio Carlos Jobim

Antônio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim

Widely known as the composer of "The Girl from Ipanema" (Garota de Ipanema), one of the most recorded songs of all time, Jobim has left a large number of songs that are today included in the standard Jazz and Pop repertoires.

Jobim became prominent in Brazil when he teamed up with poet and diplomat Vinicus de Moraes to write the music for the play Orfeu de Conceicao (1956). The most popular song from the show was "Se Todos Fossem Iguais A Você" ("If Everyone Were Like You"). Later, when the play was turned into a film, producer Sacha Gordine did not want to use any of the existing music from the play. Gordine asked de Moraes and Jobim for a new score for the film Black Orpheus (1959). Moraes was at the time away in Montevideo, Uruguay, working for the Itamaraty (the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and so he and Jobim were only able to write three songs, primarily over the telephone ("A Felicidade", "Frevo",and "O Nosso Amor"). This collaboration proved successful, and Vinicius went on to pen the lyrics to some of Jobim's most popular songs.

A key event in making Jobim's music known in the English speaking world was his collaboration with the American jazz saxophonist Stan Getz, Joao Gilberto and Gilberto's wife at the time, Astrud Gilberto, which resulted in two albums, Getz/Gilberto (1963) and Getz/Gilberto Vol. 2 (1964). The release of Getz/Gilberto created a bodssa nova craze in the United States, and subsequently internationally. Getz had previously recorded Jazz Samba with Charlie Byrd (1962), and Jazz Samba Encore! with Luiz Bonfá (1964).

Jobim wrote many of the songs on Getz/Gilberto, which became one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time, and turned Astrud Gilberto, who sang on "The Girl from Ipanema" and "Corcovado," into an international sensation. At the Grammy Awards of 1965 Getz/Gilberto won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, Grammy Awared for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group, and the Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. "The Girl from Ipanema" won the award for Grammy Award for Record of the Year.

Jobim is one of the most important songwriters of the 20th century. Many of Jobim's songs are jazz standards. American jazz singers Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra prominently featured Jobim's songs on their albums Ella Abraca Jobim (1981), and Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim (1967), respectively. The 1996 CD Wave: The Antonio Carlos Jobim Songbook included performances of Jobim tunes by Oscar Peterson, Herbioe Hancock, Chick Corea, and Toots Thielemans. Jobim was an innovator in the use of sophisticated harmonic structures in popular song. Some of his melodic twists, like the melody insisting on the major seventh of the chord, became common use in Jazz and easy listening music after him. The Brazilian collaborators and interpreters of Jobim's music include Joao Gilberto (often credited as a co-creator of bossa nova), Chico Buarque, Gal Costa, Elis Regina, Sergio Mendes, Astrud Gilberto, and Flora :urim. Eumir Deodata and the conductor/composer Claus Ogerman arranged many recordings of Jobim tunes. He won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 54th Grammy Awards.

As a well-deserved posthumous homage, on January 5, 1999 the Municipality of Rio de Janeiro changed the name of Rio's Galeao International Airport , located on Governador Island, to bear the composer's name. Galeão Airport is explicitly mentioned in his composition "Samba do Avião."
(January 25, 1927 – December 8, 1994), also known as Tom Jobim, was a Brazilian songwriter, composer, arranger, singer, and pianist/guitarist. He was a primary force behind the creation of the bossa nova style, and his songs have been performed by many singers and instrumentalists within Brazil and internationally.

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