Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Review: Antonio Carlos Jobim - Wave

Antonio Carlos Jobim and his music defined the Bossa Nova movement of the 1950s and 60s. Almost everything he wrote would go on to become a standard, and every song would eventually be covered the whole world over. But as a musician and artist he displayed much more, his work showing subtle yet strong distinct melodies and unstoppable sophisticated harmonies. His work as a musician and recording artist in the late 60s and early 70s, most notably with producer Creed Taylor, produced a solid number of widely regarded masterworks, of which ‘Wave’ nestles comfortably at the top.

The title-track opens things, and along with the other most well known piece here, ‘Triste’, is instantly recognisable. On their original release they were immediate and popular hits - the other eight songs here however, though less well known, are no less deserving of your attention.

For the most part, the songs are in a medium tempo bossa nova rhtythm and manage to be both relaxed and assured, as well as hugely swinging. Apart from Jobims delicate and melodic piano, the other significant and notable presence here is the trombone, courtesy of the superb and yet strangely under-rated Urbie Green, dominating in particular ‘Look To The Sky’ and the excellent faster-paced closer ‘Captain Bacardi’.

Hugely catchy with a relaxed mood, only one track here comes with vocals. And while Jobim could never be classed as a great singer, he is a good singer of his own material, and ‘Lamento (No Morro)’ benefits greatly from his voice.

Antonio Carlos Jobim is, without argument, one of the most important composers of the twentieth century, and ‘Wave’ is one of his most important and popular recordings. Just let yourself be seduced by its warmth and soft melodic touch – a must have.


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