Album of the Week: Stone Flower (1970) – Antonio Carlos Jobim

Arguably one of the most overlooked albums of its time “Stone flower,” Antonio Carlos Jobim’s 5th full- length studio album, is nothing less than a masterpiece in the genre of bossa nova.

Stone Flower - Antonio Carlos Jobim

Stone Flower (1970)

Jobim is known for adding several songs to the bossa nova and jazz repertoire and providing a number of standards and there is evidence of that on this album. Almost every track presented here for the first time has been covered by a plethora of artists over the subsequent decades. Most notably “Brazil” has been covered a number of times.

Jobim was in fine form, with his compositions being as fresh and sophisticated as ever. One thing that sets “Stone flower” apart from other releases is how well-judged his vocal performances are. He understands the need to gently apply the lyrics and also measures the timing of each phrase very well.

Though as composer, pianist and vocalist Jobim takes front stage he was helped by a brilliant cast of musicians. Marking his first album with label CTI, he and legendary producer Creed Taylor formed a remarkable partnership. Jobim is allowed to play freely and glides with his melodies like a “kite in the sky”  while Taylor directs the movement as if he has a string attached. Everything is effortless and smooth yet precisely controlled and always well thought out. The result is near perfection.

Eumir Deodato also deserves credit for this, as his arrangement sets the stage for Jobim’s performance. Bossa nova and jazz mainstays like Laws and Green were also present and on point on this album. Though each track offers a different feel the whole album always feels cohesive and well-sequenced.

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Released: 1970

Recorded: March 16-22, 1970

Genre: Jazz, Bossa Nova

Length: 33:47

Label: CTI

Producer: Creed Taylor

1.”Tereza My Love”

2.”Children’s Games”

3.”Choro”

4.”Brazil” (Ary Barroso)

5.”Stone Flower”

6.”Amparo”

7.”Andorinha”

8.”God and the Devil in the Land of the Sun”

9.”Sabia”

10.”Brazil”(Alternate take)

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