Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
120

Various Artists: A Twist of Jobim

Douglas Payne By

Sign in to view read count Views
This appropriately "smooth jazz" tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim is perhaps one of the best that's come out over the last few years. Like many of Jobim's records, it goes down like a smooth, relaxing drink. Producer, arranger and nominal leader guitarist Lee Ritenour has collected some fine talent, particularly frequent collaborator Dave Grusin, and crafted some very nice moments throughout. Highlights include "Water to Drink" (featuring Ritenour and Grusin), "Captain Bacardi" (an old Ritenour / Grusin staple with Eric Marienthal), "Lamento" (featuring Ernie Watts and Christian McBride) and "Mojave" (with the Yellowjackets and Ritenour). All lend their individual, and often surprisingly distinctive, talents to the collective soul of Jobim's beautiful melodies.

Much to his credit, Ritenour favors some of Jobim's fine, less exploited, tunes. The nicest surprise of all, though, is Herbie Hancock's smoking rendition of "Stone Flower," Jobim's truly under-appreciated maze of rhythm and chord changes from 1970. Hancock, who's lately made a career of inclusion among Jobim tributes, gets his only feature here and it's truly worth the price of admission. Hancock's dynamic playing, reminiscent of his work with Milton Nascimento, is as muscular and as sensitive as Jobim's tricky romance suggests. Although I could do without the vocals and the vocalists (El DeBarge on "Dindi," Al Jarreau and Oletta Adams on the annoying "Waters of March" and "Girl from Ipanema"), each singer, especially Jarreau, fits well into Jobim's universe, ably suggesting the romantic shores of Ipanema.

Great song choices (though I would've traded "Girl from Ipanema" for "A Felicidade") and a sensitive cast of talented players make A Twist Of Jobim worth at least a listen or two.


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Tanbou Toujou Lou: Merengue, Kompa Kreyou, Vodou Jazz & Electric...
Tanbou Toujou Lou:...
Ostinato Records
2016
buy
The Boston Creative Jazz Scene 1970-1983
The Boston Creative...
Cultures Of Soul Records
2016
buy
Hungarian Noir
Hungarian Noir
Piranha
2016
buy
The New Basement Tapes: Lost on the River
The New Basement...
Harvest Records
2015
buy
I Never Meta Guitar Three
I Never Meta Guitar...
Clean Feed Records
2015
buy
Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps & Bumps from Peru's Electronic Underground
Peru Boom: Bass,...
Tiger's Milk
2015
buy

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.