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Antonio Carlos Jobim: Live At Minas

Ernest Barteldes By

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When one thinks of an Antonio Carlos Jobim record, what comes to mind are either his '60s recordings with João Gilberto and Frank Sinatra, or discs that feature him with a large backing ensemble. However on Live at Minas (recorded live in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in 1981 but only made public in 2006), we hear a different side of the composer, in a rare solo concert.

The show begins almost with an apology: "I'm not really into doing shows, he says. "It was Vinicius, Toquinho and Miúcha who got me to do this show thing and adds that the decision to play solo came from the need to "get closer to the audience.

During the performance, he seems to be relaxed, but the nervousness of playing on his own comes through—his breathing is hard during the first few songs and he also fumbles a couple of lyrics, which apparently goes unnoticed by the audience. He cleverly avoids playing exclusively his biggest hits, focusing instead on more obscure numbers, such as "Ligia and "Dindi in between the standards he knew people were there to hear.

Jobim chooses to divide the set-list among collaborations with his various partners—the first being Newton Mendonça, who co-wrote "One Note Samba and "Off Key, the latter played with the intro that most singers have chosen to ignore. To introduce his partnership with Vinicius de Moraes (who died only months before the concert), he recalls the hard times he'd been going through—when invited to participate in the Black Orpheus project, he turns to mutual friend Lucio Rangel and naïvely asked if "there was any money in this.

Among the best numbers is "Retrato Em Branco e Preto (Portrait in Black and White), co-written with Chico Buarque de Hollanda, who Jobim describes as "a genius like Pelé or Garrincha.

Jobim clearly knows that people wanted to hear certain numbers and he obliges by leaving them to the end. He says, "Now these are to move you and tears into "Waters of March with the highly recognizable piano riff (the audience begins clapping within seconds), closing the show with "The Girl From Ipanema.

This disc is a collector's item—there are few others in which you can hear the master in such an intimate format, without the "defenses of a large ensemble, as he says as he begins to play. This is a great document from one of the most prolific songwriters of his generation, even if a few moments are a bit flawed—Jobim was not exactly a performer, but his charm compensates for any imperfections.

Track Listing: Desafinado; Samba De Uma Nota So; Por Causa De Voce; Estrada Do Sol; Se 5. Se Todos Fossem Iguais A Voce; Agua De Beber; Eu Nao Existo Sem Voce; Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar; Modinha; Chega De Saudade; Dindi; Eu Preciso De Voce; Retrato Em Branco E Preto; Corcovado; Ligia; Falando De Amor; Aguas De Marco; Garota De Ipanema.

Personnel: Antonio Carlos Jobim: piano, vocals.

Title: Live At Minas | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: DRG Records


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