MUSiC: Jobim, Jobim, 1972

After a run of recordings made at the Rudy Van Gelder studios, whilst this allegedly shares many of the same performers, it sounds and feels quite different.

The Brazilian version started with the sublime Jobim classic Aguas de Marco, in its original Portuguese. The US and other markets started likewise, but had an extra version of the same track, sung in English, appended to the close of side two. I’d say this is a five star album simply for having this track, or rather tracks, on it alone.

The rest of the disc is rather more varied than previous albums. Whilst tracks two and three, Ana Luiza and Matita Pere are very much the Jobim we’d grown to know and love, from Tempo do Mar onwards things shift to a more TV/movie soundtrack type territory.

Personally I love a lot of this music, albeit that it is quite different from the ‘standard’ Jobim stuff we may have grown accustomed to. Tempo do Mar, Mantequiera Range, Themes From the Films Cronica Da Casa Assassinada/Trem Para Cordisburgo, Um Rancho Nas Nuvens and Nuvens Douradas are all more ‘compositional’ (a kind of classical influence?); except for a brief interlude in the longer Themes From the Films track, they are all instrumental, and more orchestral and thematic, less song like than usual.

This makes this recording significantly different from all his previous discs. And some don’t like that. score it a paltry three stars! I find that shocking. It’s like the reaction many had to Alice Coltrane’s Infinity. Close-minded. This said, as much as I love and admire Jobim’s work when he veers off his own beaten track, I do listen to this stuff less frequently.

According to online info, Claus Ogerman is once again working with Jobim. And he has a lot more to do here, as a great many pieces are essentially Jobim at the piano, plus an orchestra, predominantly consisting, by the sounds of it, of strings, plus some flutes, and the occasional trombone. So there’s a lot less of the US jazzmen blowing their horns.

They do crop up, here and there, notably Urbie Green’s sinuously laconic ‘bone can be enjoyed in several places. Likewise Ron Carter and Joao Palma are credited. But have a lot less to do than in previous recordings. Making a ‘slight return’ on side two, with the two Nuvens tracks, and the added English language version of Aguas de Marcos.

The cover artwork is a bit strange. A rather naive modernist painting. Poss’ by a member of the Jobim clan? It’s kind of suited to an album that’s a bit of a departure into what might be termed a more personal or ‘art music’ type direction.

So, whilst I personally love this album, being a major Jobim fan, I wouldn’t recommend it as a starting point, as it’s quite atypical. But, again, for me personally, on account of the two versions of Waters of March, if nothing else, this remains utterly essential.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *