Tuesday, May 28, 2013

YouTube Pick of the Week #3: Tom Jobim and Astrud Gilberto - Viva Brasil

One would think that a massively influential recording artist, especially one with a decades-spanning career like Antônio Carlos Jobim would have lots of live recordings available for purchase in the marketplace. The truth is, Jobim was primarily a writer/arranger, not  a touring musician and therefore did not have a regular backup  band. The vast majority of his live recorded output was released after his death in 1994.

On his (to my knowledge) only 100% solo recording, the 2004 released Em Minas Ao Vivo: Piano e Voz recorded in 1981, Jobim admits that the idea of performing live usually came from his music partners; like Vinicius de Moraes or Toquinho.  When they did go on the road for the occasional one-off show, the backup bands tended to be elaborate affairs with lots of extra people on stage, like backup singers and string players, as well as the occasional relative or family friend thrown in for extra support. 

As a consequence, the vast majority (if not all) of Jobim's live recordings available were never intended for public consumption beyond the immediate moment, and so we find ourselves with much material that Jobim would probably not have approved for commercial release. Of course, considering its scarcity, we have to accept things for what they are and be happy to have them at all.

This show, recorded circa 1988 at the ZDF Jazz Club in Leonberg, Germany for the "Jazz aus Südamerika" series, is a perfect example: Jobim sits at his piano and croons his great songbook, acting as a bandleader and delegating most vocal duties to his backup singers, as well as family friend and flautist Danilo Caymmi (Son of Dorival Caymmi), who also handles lead voice duties on A Felicidade. The cellist is Jaques Morelenbaum.  Cradled by this relatively large cast, Jobim proves Woody Allen's point that 90% of life is showing up.

After hearing Jobim's set, Astrud Gilberto s set offers an interesting contrast: For one thing, her backup band is a real touring band with fewer people and so the arrangements sound cleaner and much tighter. Consequently, it is also easier to isolate and hear each individual player's parts, something most music lovers like to do. Furthermore, the band members are more easily identifiable, as they are part of a regular touring group: The bassist is Astrud's son Marcelo Gilberto. William O'Connell is the pianst, Jay Russell Ashby is the trombonist, Romero Lubambo and Duduka da Fonseca, (who would later join bassist Nilson Matta to form Trio da Paz)  play Electric Guitar and Drums, respectively. Antonio Carlos' son Paulo Jobim provides additional guitar on some songs.

Gilberto's set, like Jobim's borrows heavily from the classic Bossa Nova Songbook, but with one pleasant addition: The penultimate song is Edu Lobo's Ponteio, written by Lobo with lyrics by Jose Carlos Capinam  Other than the João Gilberto song Adeus America, It's the only Non-Jobim tune in the entire set and is not covered very often. You can find a  song chart for Ponteio in The Latin Real Book, From Sher Music, Co.

Song List:

1-Agua de Beber
2 -The Girl From Ipanema
3 - Aguas de Marco
4 - Chega de Saudade
5 - Wave
6- Corcovado
7-Garota de Ipanema
8- A Feliciade (Lead voice: Danilo Caymmi)
9-Samba de Uma Nota So
10 - Adeus America
11 - Ponteio
12 - Agua de Beber

Thank you for reading. Be sure to download our latest show!

Bem Brasil with Will Crawford is a Native Alternative Production. 
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