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Tom Jobim & João Gilberto

Antonio Carlos (Tom) Jobim was a Brazilian songwriter, composer, singer, and pianist/guitarist. Jobim is celebrated in Brazil and acknowledged elsewhere as one of the most popular composers of the 20th century. In partnership with Vinicius de Moraes, Newton Mendonça, and other collaborators, Jobim created the most famous and enduring bossa nova standards, such as “Garota de Ipanema,” “Desafinado,” and “Corcovado.” In 1957, Carlos Jobim and Newton Mendonca released the album Desafinado, featuring this new style of samba, incorporating it with jazz motifs and poetic lyrics sung by João Gilberto. In 1958, Jobim and Luis Bonfa wrote the soundtrack to the great motion picture Black Orpheus, based on the Orpheus-Eurydice legend recast in Brazil and the Rio de Janeiro Carnival. I recall the movie as one of startling revelations of my medical school days. I could hardly stand the death of the beautiful Eurydice and that I too was Orpheus in despair.

João Gilberto performed Jobim's songs and is considered the co-creator of the bossa nova style. In 1961, Charlie Byrd was playing a jazz tour of Latin America and discovered Gilberto and Tom Jobim. On his return to the US, he played João’s records for saxophonist friend, Stan Getz, and Latin music came to America. Getz and Byrd’ recorded Jazz Samba in 1962 which spent 70 weeks on the pop charts. Later, Getz recorded four more Getz bossa nova albums, including the Getz/Gilberto album in 1964 with João, his wife, Astrud, and Tom Jobim. A hit song “The Girl of Ipanema” remains popular today. It was the debut of Astrud Gilberto who had never before performed professionally. Astrud remained in the US, continuing with a successful music career after divorcing João in 1965.

I have arranged and recorded: How Insensitive, The Gentle Rain, Black Orpheus

Listen to Black Orpheus

Listen to Gentle Rain