Monday, 11 July 2016

Antonio Carlos Jobim - Wave (1967)

Midsummer, and time for my listening habits to take their traditional holiday to Brazil.  I've been fascinated by Brazillian music from (mostly) the 60s and 70s ever since discovering this timeless album at university, and it's led to me discovering several other lifelong favourites ever since.  I had actually planned earlier in the year to spend the whole of July posting Brazillian albums, but on reflection thought that would a bit OTT and out of character for this blog, so it's just going to be one week.

To kick off then, here's possibly the finest, most exquisite example of 60s bossanova, with the legendary Antonio Carlos Jobim pairing up with arranger Claus Ogerman to produce a succinct album of instant classics, topped off with Creed Taylor's production sheen.  Right from the start of the title track, Ogerman's shimmering wall of strings establishes itself like an airport runway heathaze, then languid brass and winds waft in to provide a gentle breeze in the sweltering heat.  Jobim's guitar or piano are always mixed up front to carry these indelible melodies or carry the bossanova rhythms, and everything is securely underpinned by the great jazz bassist Ron Carter.

The perfection of Ogerman's arranging and Taylor's early-CTI production really can't be overstated here - on Antigua for instance, flutes carry the winding melody until Jobim brings in harpsichord for a star guest turn.  The reverb on the latter instrument is just enough to make the otherwise out-of-kilter baroque instrument sparkle like sunlight off the surface of the sea.  Wave is also a well-paced album; if a track like Dialogo starts to lull you into a poolside snooze, Lamento picks up the pace again, and features Jobim's smoky, melancholic voice for the only time on this flawless album.

Wave

5 comments:

  1. This made Monday much better. Cheers!

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    Replies
    1. cheers - hope you like the next two!

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  2. Looking forward to the rest of the week!
    And that cover - daaaaaaangggggg

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  3. Great cover art.
    Can you please reup this one.
    Thank you

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