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Pop - Released February 5, 2008 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Pop - Released November 15, 2011 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Jazz - Released October 1, 1967 | Verve Reissues

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Jazz - Released October 5, 2010 | Masterworks Jazz

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1963 | Verve Reissues

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This album is a totem, but one that’s as light as a feather. Before its release in 1963, the composer Antonio Carlos “Tom” Jobim was already known as one of the architects of bossa-nova, a new style of music which was beginning to gain traction a few years beforehand in Brazil, with (amongst others) musician João Gilberto and the poet Vinícius de Moraes at the forefront. Their work on the soundtrack for the film Orfeu Negro propelled this music to worldwide exposure. But for Jobim, it’s The Composer of Desafinado, Plays that would go on to unfurl a red carpet for him across North America. It’s his first album recorded under his own name, and his first release in the United States. Jobim takes on the classics: The Girl from Ipanema, Agua de Beber, Desafinado, Jazz Samba, Chega de Saudade... all songs which ooze elegance, sensuality and sleepy groove. Tom Jobim is agile on the guitar and the piano, and the arranger Claus Ogerman seems to spin these beautiful layers of silky strings and flutes that float above the rest. Everything is minimal but lush at the same time, sharp but soft, definitely dream-inducing. The album is released on the Verve label, one of the biggest jazz labels of the time. From Stan Getz to Frank Sinatra, American jazz would quickly start to draw its inspiration from Jobim. Bossa is nowadays part of the worldwide musical landscape, even considered as a postcard (that’s Instagram to our younger readers) cliché, but in 1963, it was the creme de la creme of all things jazz. © Stéphane Deschamps/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released May 1, 1970 | Verve Reissues

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Jazz - Released November 21, 1995 | Verve Reissues

Issued nearly a year after Jobim's death, this three-CD set is ground zero, the place to start if you don't have any Jobim in your collection or for anyone who wants a single package of his multifaceted art. The set encompasses not only Jobim's own sporadic work for Verve from 1963 until his final 1994 Carnegie Hall concert and the two A&M albums of 1967 and 1970, but also sessions led by Stan Getz, Joao, and Astrud Gilberto in which Jobim appeared as a sideman. Guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves, who selected the music for this set, follows a unique game plan, devoting disc one to vocal renditions of Jobim's songs, disc two to instrumental versions, and disc three to multiple comparisons of a few Jobim standards by different performers. The selections are often adventurous, and the programming digs deeply into Jobim's PolyGram catalog for such overlooked gems as the bossa waltz "Mojave," the sly "Captain Bacardi," and the self-mocking "Chansong." For casual listening, discs one and two flow beautifully, and even disc three works, for despite the repetition of tunes, the approaches are varied enough to keep one's attention. Jobim collectors probably have almost everything on the set anyway, as there are no unreleased tracks other than a humorous uncredited rehearsal of "Aguas de Marco" tacked onto the end of "Vivo Sonhando." But they are certain to be attracted by the unique packaging -- a double-spiraled fold-out book containing lots of fascinating interviews and essays, and three discs wrapped in paper cutouts environmentally designed to look like fish, flowers, and leaves. The CD era's most imaginative graphics department has done it again. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1963 | Verve Reissues

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This album is a totem, but one that’s as light as a feather. Before its release in 1963, the composer Antonio Carlos “Tom” Jobim was already known as one of the architects of bossa-nova, a new style of music which was beginning to gain traction a few years beforehand in Brazil, with (amongst others) musician João Gilberto and the poet Vinícius de Moraes at the forefront. Their work on the soundtrack for the film Orfeu Negro propelled this music to worldwide exposure. But for Jobim, it’s The Composer of Desafinado, Plays that would go on to unfurl a red carpet for him across North America. It’s his first album recorded under his own name, and his first release in the United States. Jobim takes on the classics: The Girl from Ipanema, Agua de Beber, Desafinado, Jazz Samba, Chega de Saudade... all songs which ooze elegance, sensuality and sleepy groove. Tom Jobim is agile on the guitar and the piano, and the arranger Claus Ogerman seems to spin these beautiful layers of silky strings and flutes that float above the rest. Everything is minimal but lush at the same time, sharp but soft, definitely dream-inducing. The album is released on the Verve label, one of the biggest jazz labels of the time. From Stan Getz to Frank Sinatra, American jazz would quickly start to draw its inspiration from Jobim. Bossa is nowadays part of the worldwide musical landscape, even considered as a postcard (that’s Instagram to our younger readers) cliché, but in 1963, it was the creme de la creme of all things jazz. © Stéphane Deschamps/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released May 1, 1970 | Verve Reissues

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1973 | Verve

Though this is one of the more obscure Jobim albums, it did introduce what some believe is Jobim's masterpiece, the hypnotically revolving song "Aguas de Marco" (heard here in Portuguese and English versions). Mostly, however, the record lets listeners in on another side of Jobim, the Debussy/Villa-Lobos-inspired creator of moody instrumental tone poems for films and whatnot, with the instrumental colors filled in by Jobim's old cohort, Claus Ogerman. This was supposed to be a breakthrough for Jobim, bursting out of the bossa nova idiom into uncharted territory, yet a lot of this often undeniably beautiful music merely treads over ground that Villa-Lobos explored long before ("Train to Cordisburgo" especially). In any case, Jobim would explore his serious muse with greater success later on. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released April 19, 1994 | GRP

Antonio Carlos Jobim's entry in the exhaustive VERVE JAZZ MASTERS set of historical reissues is one of the best single-disc Jobim anthologies available. It's not got much in the way of historical range, since it stops in the mid-'60s, just before Jobim left Verve for Reprise and then A&M. However, since Jobim's Verve years were, in the minds of many, his career highpoint, VERVE JAZZ MASTERS 13 distills the best of his most artistically and commercially successful period. Nearly all of Jobim's greatest songs are here in their definitive versions, and the whole is sequenced thoughtfully, so that the disc has a logical and delightful flow. This is magnificent stuff, as well as being the birth of bossa nova. This disc is also available as part of the three-disc box VERVE JAZZ MASTERS: THE BOSSA NOVA STORY, alongside discs by Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz. © TiVo
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Jazz - Released February 5, 1991 | Verve Reissues

Verve's PERSONALIDADE series of Brazilian jazz reissues is probably the best way for North American listeners to familiarize themselves with the sometimes under-represented stars of South American jazz. The series also contains entries by better-known artists, of course, and naturally no set of Brazilian jazz reissues would be complete without a collection by Antonio Carlos Jobim, who only invented the very idea. By combining Brazilian samba, the acoustic guitar and percussion music so popular in the streets of Rio and Brazil's other major cities, with American cool jazz, Jobim created bossa nova. This 16-track compilation covers most of the high points of Jobim's most Brazilian-oriented material. Half of the tracks are instrumentals, but the others feature lyrics in Portuguese, Brazil's official language. The clipped, rhythmic sound of the Portuguese language, especially as sung in Jobim's distracted mumble, one of the most delightful and unique singing voices of its era, fits the music's chattering rhythms beautifully. This is an excellent entry into Jobim's life and work. © TiVo
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Jazz - Released June 15, 1967 | Verve Reissues

When Creed Taylor left Verve/MGM for his own label under the auspices of A&M, he quickly signed Antonio Carlos Jobim and they picked up right where they left off with this stunningly seductive record, possibly Jobim's best. Jobim contributes his sparely rhythmic acoustic guitar, simple melodic piano style, a guest turn at the harpsichord, and even a vocal on "Lamento," while Claus Ogerman lends a romantically brooding hand with the charts. A pair of instant standards are introduced ("Wave," "Triste"), but this album is to be cherished for its absolutely first-rate tunes -- actually miniature tone poems -- that escaped overexposure and thus sound fresh today. The most beautiful sleeper is "Batidinha," where the intuitive Jobim/Ogerman collaboration reaches its peak. One only wishes that this album were longer; 31:45 is not enough. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released June 27, 2000 | Verve Reissues

Verve continues their Finest Hour series with Antonio Carlos Jobim's Finest Hour, a 17-song collection highlighting the bossa nova pioneer's singing and songwriting. "Insensatez," "Corcovado," "The Girl From Ipanema," "Desafinado," and other definitive tracks make this set entertaining, if not comprehensive. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Bossa Nova & Brazil - Released January 9, 1994 | Columbia

Not only did Jobim stay active until the end of his life, he showed virtually no signs of creative burnout, as this, his last album, wondrously displays. Surrounded again by family and friends, he delivered a brace of 13 songs and compositions (plus two songs by the veteran songwriter Dorival Caymmi), many of them relatively new, most as heartbreakingly beautiful as anything from the bossa nova years. Sometimes Jobim's voice, never impressive, is almost gone and the production has a rough-hewn finish, but it doesn't matter; Jobim's craft and his brood carry him through, and son Paulo Jobim provides thick but highly competent orchestral arrangements. An especially touching passage is the brief "Samba de Maria Luiza," a Jobim duet with his little daughter Maria Luiza, who also turns up on the succeeding ode for the environment, "Forever Green." The final tone poem, "Trem De Ferro," obviously inspired by Heitor Villa-Lobos, is also the most startling, a strange chugging simulation of a train cutting through the underbrush. There is also an idiomatic duet with Sting on the familiar "How Insensitive" (later included on the Red, Hot and Rio anthology), and Caymmi makes a guest vocal appearance on "Maricotinha." Obviously Jobim still had a lot to give, making his death later in 1994 an even more poignant blow. Issued for the Latin market only, though pressed in the U.S., the CD is not difficult to locate in well-stocked big city shops. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released March 1, 1980 | Rhino - Warner Records

In some ways, this is a strategic retreat for Antonio Carlos Jobim after the classical departures of the '70s -- a retrospective of past triumphs, including some of the most trod-upon standards ("Ipanema," "Desafinado," "One-Note Samba," etc.), with Claus Ogerman again at hand. But these are thoughtful retoolings, some subtle, some radical, ranging in backing from a lonely piano to elaborate yet sensitive Ogerman orchestral flights that cram more complexity than ever into the spaces (listen to his beguilingly involved take on "Double Rainbow") with only a few overbearing faux pas. Jobim's own vocals sound increasingly casual in temperament as he serves them up in an unpredictable mixture of Portuguese, English and scat. And there is much unfamiliar material here, often dressed up in a brooding classical manner. Originally a two-LP set and later on one CD, this is a snapshot of Jobim's view of his output as of 1980; as such, it is not as definitive as Verve's posthumous The Man from Ipanema set © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1987 | Verve

Passarim is Jobim's major statement of the '80s, emerging during a time when his concerns were turning increasingly toward the Planet Earth. The title song is one of Jobim's most haunting creations, a cry of pain about the the destruction of the Brazilian rain forest that resonates in the memory for hours. Also, by this time, Jobim had resumed touring with a large group containing friends and family, and they carry a great deal of the load here, with lots of airy female backup vocals, two worthy songs by Jobim's multi-talented son Paulo, and another by flutist/singer Danilo Caymmi. Recorded entirely in Rio, the record's overall sound is very different from Jobim's '60s and '70s work: denser, hazier, still grounded in the samba yet rougher in texture (as is Jobim's voice). Though not as immediately winning as the Creed Taylor-produced albums, this music repays repeated listening -- particularly the extended suite from Jobim's score for the film Gabriela -- and there are samples of his wry humor in "Chansong" and the bossa nova reworking of "Fascinatin' Rhythm" © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Pop - Released February 5, 2008 | Rhino - Warner Records

Unlike his debut, Jobim's second LP for the American market was strictly a pop album, with the composer himself singing, while the arranging/conducting chores were placed in the capable hands of Nelson Riddle. What promises to be an excellent collaboration, however, doesn't quite turn out, and the results are much more bland than could be expected from such distinct talents. To begin with, Riddle's charts are surprisingly safe, quite a disappointment from the man whose work with Frank Sinatra raised the bar for the art of arranging. Jobim's contributions are less than expected also, limited for the most part to his quavering vocals (Warner Bros. seems to have been positioning him as a pop star) and a set of compositions inferior to his first album (only "Agua de Beber" is repeated here). Jobim's is the voice of a composer, though, and what he lacks in tonal quality and strength he does make up for with delivery and subtlety of interpretation, especially on contemplative material like "Dindi" and "A Felicidade." It's not all Brazilian ennui; the instrumental "Surfboard" has a playful edge, with a rush of strings bringing on the collapse of each wave, and "She's a Carioca" (with English lyrics by Ray Gilbert) is a cheerful sequel to "The Girl From Ipanema." © John Bush /TiVo
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Pop - Released February 5, 2008 | Rhino - Warner Records

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World - Released February 19, 2007 | Verve Reissues

Unlike other volumes in Verve's Pure Bossa Nova series, which focus the spotlight on artists with few good compilations outside Brazil, the disc on Antonio Carlos Jobim has dozens of rivals. And at 14 songs, it's a rather brief collection compared to the best. Still, it includes his best versions of his standards "Wave," "Corcovado," and "Vivo Sonhando" (all recorded in the '60s), along with representations of his later days in the '70s and '80s. Of the 14 tracks, only ten are from Jobim himself, the others being his songs recorded by Gal Costa, Sylvia Telles, and Caetano Veloso (who appears twice). © John Bush /TiVo