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Antonio Carlos Jobim's music defined the bossa nova movement, and he was largely responsible for the last worldwide popular musical style that featured subtle melodies, literate texts, and sophisticated harmonies. During the late 60s and early 70s Jobim, along with producer Creed Taylor and arranger Claus Ogermann, produced several albums that rank among his finest. Wave is one of those masterworks.
Subtlety is the key element in this album. Although most of the songs are in the medium tempo bossa nova groove, they are all possessed of that deceptively relaxed style that is rhythmically self-assured and always swinging. If Count Basie had been Brazilian he would have undoubtedly been Antonio Carlos Jobim. Two songs from this album became immediate hits, the title tune "Wave" and "Triste." The other eight songs are among Jobim's less well known works but are certainly deserving of further performance. Urbie Green's beautiful trombone work is a significant presence on the album, especially in "Look to the Sky" and "Triste." One can also not say too much about Claus Ogermann's arrangements. His format of single-line piano melody with string acompaniment and flute or trombone countermelody became a much copied style in succeeding decades.
Unfortunately, only one cut from the album, "Lamento (No Morro)," features a Jobim vocal. While not a great singer, Jobim was, like Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer, a good singer of his own material. Wave is an important album by one of the most important composers of the 20th century. It is not to be missed.
Track Listing: Wave; Red Blouse; Look to the Sky; Batidinha; Triste; Mojave; Dialogo; Lamento; Antigua; Captain Bacardi
Personnel: Antonio Carlos Jobim, piano, guitar, vocals; Claudio Gion, drums, percussion; Domun Roma, drums, percussion; Dom Um Romao, drums; Bobby Rosengarden, drums, percussion; Claudio Slon, drums; Raymond Beckenstein, flute, piccolo; Ron Carter, bass; Jimmy Cleveland, trombone; Urbie Green, trombone; Romeo Penque, flute, piccolo;
Jerome Richardson, flute, piccolo; Joseph Singer, horn; and various strings
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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