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Apart from his more widely known accomplishments as a founder of bossa nova and the writer of standards such as "The Girl From Ipanema, "Corcovado, and "Desafinado, Antonio Carlos Jobim harbored an ambition to be a symphonic composer. Symphonic Jobim is a unique project, spearheaded by Paulo Jobim and Mario Adnet, that seeks to spotlight Jobim's efforts in chamber music. The compositions are presented with original arrangements by Jobim himself, along with such notables as Claus Ogerman, Nelson Riddle, and Eumir Deodato, and they are performed by members of the Orquestra Sinf''nica do Estado de São Paulo, conducted by Roberto Minczuk.
If a blindfold test were conducted, it is safe to say that even a listener familiar with Jobim's popular songs would have a difficult time connecting him with the music presented on this recording. There is little of the seductive lilt of bossa nova to be found here. However, the music is certainly technically accomplished and often quite beautiful. Special guest Milton Nascimento provides typically smooth and flowing vocals on "Se todos fossem iguais a você and "Matita Perê. Of course, another obvious highlight is the finale, a fully orchestrated version of the immortal "Garota de Ipanema.
Ultimately, however, Symphonic Jobim is probably more for the classical music fan than one looking for jazz. The music within is fairly far removed from the popular songs that provided such refreshing platforms for improvisation. Still, the project is extremely well done and serves the admirable purpose of highlighting the lesser-known efforts of a great artist.
Track Listing: Brasilia, sinfonia da Alvorada: O planalto deserto, O homem, A chegada dos candangos, O trabalho e a constru
Personnel: Members of the Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de S
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
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