“A Certain Mr. Jobim” serves as a marker in Antonio Carlos Jobim’s Career
The 60’s was a special decade for Antonio Carlo Jobim. First and foremost it was during this period that his music was first presented to a large North American Audience. He released 4 solo studio albums, collaborated with many prominent figures in American Jazz and pop and did a number of side projects. For this reason it comes as little surprised that Jobim would look back on the previous years of success and draw on them for ideas when he was creating ” A Certain Mr. Jobim.”
This tendency to look back for inspiration is most evident in the area of track selection. Jobim admirers will notice the inclusion of material that was released on previous albums. With an entire length of 26 minutes, this equates to only a relatively small amount of original material being present on the album. The return of Claus Ogerman as an arranger and conductor is another creative decision that indicates Jobim’s willingness to use past methodologies; however this is a welcome decision.
Ogerman’s stringed orchestral sections are as elegant as ever and are always adapted to the specific song. Jobim sang more on, ” A Certain Mr. Jobim” than he did on its predecessor, Wave, but it is the instrumental tracks that seem to shine the brightest and Ogerman’s touch is a major reason for this.
Estrada do Sol, a highlight of the album, is an example of when these musicians complement each other well, as in the past. Complete with a typically intricate and subtle piano melody, the mood is elevated courtesy of Ogerman. Jobim grabs the attention of the ear and Ogerman’s work resonates in the mind. It is Zingara though, that will reside in the memory of listeners longest. The melodies on this track t have a bit more urgency than on any other song on the album and the see-saw string accompaniment is mesmerizing.
A Certain Mr. Jobim may mark the last studio album from a successful decade but it also marks what must have been one of Jobim’s most hectic periods. Sand-whiched between two classics: “Wave” and ” Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim” made this album the unfortunate middle man. The inclusion of previously recorded work may be the most obvious manifestation of this but it is not the only one. Not a bad album by any standard but not as innovative or memorable as work done before or after by his standards.
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Label: Warner Bros.
1. “Bonita (Antonio Carlos Jobim, Ray Gilbert)”
2. “Se Todos Fossem Iguais a Você (Antonio Carlos Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes)”
3. “Off-Key (“Desafinado”) (Antonio Carlos Jobim, Gene Lees, Newton Mendonça)”
4. “Photograph (Antonio Carlos Jobim, Ray Gilbert)”
6. “Outra Vez (“Once Again”)”
7. “I Was Just One More for You (“Esperança Perdida”) (Antonio Carlos Jobim, Billy Blanco, Ray Gilbert)”
8. “Estrada Do Sol (Antonio Carlos Jobim, Dolores Duran)”
9. “Por Causa de Vocé (“Don’t Ever Go Away”) (Antonio Carlos Jobim, Dolores Duran, Ray Gilbert))”