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Antonio Carlos Jobim

By Jeff Tamarkin
Published October 5, 2007

Live At The Montreal Jazz Festival
DRG Brazil

If any name is synonymous with Brazilian jazz, Jobim is it. Whether or not he was “Brazil’s own George Gershwin,” as the DVD jacket claims, he was undeniably the country’s most recognized songwriter and one of its most successful and beloved recording artists since the 1960s. When Jobim sat down at the piano at the 1986 Montreal event captured here (eight years before his death), accompanied by a small band (including cellist Jacques Morelenbaum, an asset to any outfit) and five female backing vocalists, he had only recently returned to touring after a hiatus of more than a decade, but he had no trouble establishing and maintaining a rapport. Opening with one of his most oft-recorded compositions, “Samba de Uma Nota Só” (One Note Samba), the composer sails through just over a dozen numbers, among the highlights a stunning “Wave,” once recorded, as Jobim notes (he often speaks in English, and when he doesn’t subtitles are available), by the great jazz pianist Oscar Peterson. Oddly MIA is “Desafinado,” one of Jobim’s most iconic works, although he does of course get around to “Girl From Ipanema” (which he co-wrote with Vinicius de Moraes), the most popular bossa nova ever to chart in the U.S. (as recorded by Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto). An interview and other extras fill out the program.