Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Composer of Desafinado, Plays - Antonio Carlos Jobim



The Composer of Desafinado, Plays
Antonio Carlos Jobim
Verve  V-8547
1963

I pulled this out thinking I might get rid of it and decided to give it one final spin.  I like the Stan Getz bossa nova albums which rely heavily on Jobim's compositions but I figured that without Getz's sax or Astrud Gilberto's breathy vocals, this instrumental album was kind of useless.  Jobim plays piano on it and he's not exactly Bill Evans.  He mostly plays a single note style that seems kind of basic, even amateurish at first.  As I listened I was unimpressed at first, the heavy use of strings reminded me of muzak.  But as I listened longer I started to relax, the sound was so soothing and mellow.  It made me feel good.  As a result I've been playing it a lot lately.  It works great as background music but you can listen to it too.  Jobim's piano work has a rightness to it, it fits.  It seems simple but then it carries you away.  The rhythm section swings and I've even come to like the strings.  Jobim is a world class composer, this album is loaded with classic songs: "The Girl From Ipanema," "Insensatez," "Corcovado," "One Note Samba" and "Desafinado."  To hear them flowing out one after another in nice tasteful arrangements is a real pleasure.  It transports me back to another time and place.  I'm not old enough to remember when the bossa nova was popular but I have to admit that this record makes me want to suit up, pour myself a martini and take a slow turn around the room with a lady in a cocktail dress and too much make-up.  Recommended for lounge lizards who are tired of their Martin Denny and Les Baxter records.

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