Album of the Week Review: Wave – Antonio Carlos Jobim

By 1967, Antonio Carlos Jobim had played a significant role as one of the leading pioneers of bossa nova. Having already worked on monumentous albums such as “Orfeu da Conceição” and “Getz/Gilbero,” the release of “Wave” further consolidated his position as a legend.

Wave - Antonio Carlos Jobim

Wave

An ambitious effort; the album features a first rate cast of musicians playing a diverse selection of instruments. Jobim being the focal point sets the pace for the entire album with his trademark brand of sophisticated compositions played with a gentle touch. Equally intricate is Claus Ogerman’s arrangement. He ensures that every element of each song fits in well like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. When one considers how many individual pieces he was able to put together, this is a feat that is very impressive. Creed Taylor also succeeds at enhancing the album with his careful production.

The album produced two standards in the form of “Wave” and “Trieste.” The former is an iconic song featuring a memorable lead melody which is accentuated by Ogerman’s strings. Trieste is even more subtle, and though Jobim is still the focal point of the track, Urbie Green’s performance on the trombone is one that stands out as a highlight of the album.

The lesser known songs on the album are all of equal quality. Though at times they feature different elements, they all come together well under an umbrella of subtly that the trio of Jobim, Ogerman and Taylor all seem to understand and execute with precision and grace. Whether it be the lazy “Look to the Sky” featuring a central use of brass, the livelier “Lamento” which notably feature Jobim’s solitary vocal performance or the upbeat album closer “Captain Barcadi” with an astir baseline and energetic percussion section, the album always seems to stay true to its central principles.

Above all, “Wave” succeeds at successfully integrating several elements and using them to craft an album which is just as subtle and intricate as Jobim himself. It’s his magnum opus and one of the most important albums in the genre of bossa nova.

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Released: September 1967

Recorded: May 22-24 and June 15, 1967

Genre: Jazz, Bossa Nova

Length: 31:38

Label: A&M

Producer: Creed Taylor

1.”Wave”

2.”The Red Blouse”

3.”Look to the Sky”

4.”Batidinha”

5.”Triste”

6.”Mojave”

7.”Diálogo”

8.”Lamento” (lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes)

9.”Antigua”

10.”Captain Bacardi”

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