Antonio Carlos Jobim25 jan 1927 (Rio de Janeiro) - 8 dec 1994 (New York)
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Antônio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim (January 25, 1927 in Rio de Janeiro – December 8, 1994 in New York), also known as Tom Jobim, was a Brazilian songwriter, composer, arranger, singer, and pianist/guitarist. A primary force behind the creation of the bossa nova style, his songs have been performed by many singers and instrumentalists within Brazil and internationally.
Early life and career
Jobim's musical roots were planted firmly in the work of Pixinguinha, the legendary musician and composer who began modern Brazilian music in the 1930s. Among his teachers were Lúcia Branco, and, from 1941 on, Hans-Joachim Koellreutter. Jobim was also influenced by the French composers Claude Debussy and Ravel, and by jazz. Among many themes, his lyrics talked about love, self discovery, betrayal, joy and especially about the birds and natural wonders of Brazil, like the "Mata Atlântica" forest, characters of Brazilian folklore like Matita Pereira (Saci Pererê), and his home city of Rio de Janeiro.
Jobim became prominent in Brazil when he teamed up with poet and diplomat Vinicius de Moraes to write the music for the play Orfeu de Conceição (1956). The most popular song from the show was "Se Todos Fossem Iguais A Você" ("Someone to Light Up My Life"). Later, when the play was turned into a film, producer Sacha Gordine did not want to use any of the existing music from the play. Gordine asked de Moraes and Jobim for a new score for the film Black Orpheus (1959). Moraes was at the time away in Montevideo, Uruguay, working for the Itamaraty (the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and so he and Jobim were only able to write three songs, primarily over the telephone ("A Felicidade", "Frevo",and "O Nosso Amor"). This collaboration proved successful, and Vinicius went on to pen the lyrics to some of Jobim's most popular songs.
A key event in making Jobim's music known in the English speaking world was his collaboration with the American jazz saxophonist Stan Getz, João Gilberto and Gilberto's wife at the time, Astrud Gilberto, which resulted in two albums, Getz/Gilberto (1963) and Getz/Gilberto Vol. 2 (1964). The release of Getz/Gilberto created a bossa nova craze in the United States, and subsequently internationally.
Getz had previously recorded Jazz Samba with Charlie Byrd (1962), and Jazz Samba Encore! with Luiz Bonfá (1964). Jobim wrote many of the songs on Getz/Gilberto, which became one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time, and turned Astrud Gilberto, who sang on "The Girl from Ipanema" and "Corcovado", into an international sensation.
At the Grammy Awards of 1964 Getz/Gilberto won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group and the Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. "The Girl from Ipanema" won the award for Grammy Award for Record of the Year.
Personal life and death
Antonio Carlos Jobim was born in the middle-class district of Tijuca, in Rio de Janeiro. His father Jorge de Oliveira Jobim was a diplomat and journalist. When Antonio was still an infant, his parents separated and his mother, Nilza Brasileiro de Almeida, moved with her children (Antonio and his sister Helena) to Ipanema, the beachside neighborhood the composer would later celebrate in his songs. In 1935, when the elder Jobim died, Nilza married Celso Frota Pessoa, who would encourage his stepson's career and give him his first piano.
As a young man of limited means, Jobim earned his living by playing in nightclubs and bars and later as an arranger for a recording label, before starting to make success as a composer.
Jobim was married to Thereza Hermanny in 1949 and had two children with her: Paulo Jobim (born 1950), an architect and musician, and Elizabeth "Beth" Jobim (born 1957), a painter. Jobim and Hermanny divorced in 1978. In 1986 he married photographer Ana Lontra, with whom he had two more children: João Francisco Jobim (1979–1998) and Maria Luiza Jobim (born 1987). His grandson Daniel Jobim (born 1973), Paulo's son, followed his grandfather's steps, becoming a pianist and composer.
On December 8, 1994, after finishing recording the final sessions for his next album, Tom Jobim, Jobim collapsed after leaving the studio. He was taken to the nearest hospital and 10 minutes later, he was pronounced dead. His last words were: "Remember me". The cause of death was heart failure. He was survived by his children and grandchildren. His last album, Antonio Brasileiro, was released posthumously.
Jobim's body was flown back to Brazil on December 9, 1994 and was given a private funeral on December 13, 1994 in Rio de Janeiro. His family, his friends Miúcha, Edu Lobo, João Gilberto, Astrud Gilberto and his close friends came to his funeral. His body lay in state until given a proper burial on December 20, 1994.
In 1999 five years after his death, a "best of" album The Best of Tom Jobim, which included his greatest work was released. It was compiled by his family and friends.
Many of Jobim's songs are jazz standards. American jazz singers Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra prominently featured Jobim's songs on their albums Ella Abraça Jobim (1981), and Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim (1967), respectively. Other notable performers of Jobim songs include Michael Franks, Vince Guaraldi, Toninho Horta, Shirley Horn, Andy Williams, Lambert, Hendricks, & Ross, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Diana Krall, Claudine Longet, Sting, Art Garfunkel, George Michael, Vicki Carr, Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland, Olivia Newton-John, George Shearing, Blossom Dearie, Natalie Cole, Peter Eldridge and the New York Voices. Julian Lloyd Webber recorded a cello version of The Girl From Ipanema on his 2001 album Made In England. Carlos Santana's 1970s album Caravanserai included a version of Jobim's "Stone Flower." The 1996 CD Wave: The Antonio Carlos Jobim Songbook included performances of Jobim tunes by Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, and Toots Thielemans.
The Brazilian collaborators and interpreters of Jobim's music include João Gilberto (often credited as a co-creator of bossa nova), Chico Buarque, Gal Costa, Elis Regina, Sergio Mendes, Astrud Gilberto, and Flora Purim. Eumir Deodato and the conductor/composer Claus Ogerman arranged many recordings of Jobim tunes.
The Rio de Janeiro international airport was renamed as Galeão - Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport in his honor.
The Oregon based rock band Heatmiser recorded a song called Antonio Carlos Jobim that was included on their album Cop and Speeder. Written by the late Elliott Smith, the album was released in 1994, the year of Jobim's death.
In Cowboy Bebop, a Japanese anime that consistently references a variety of musical styles, there are three elderly men who serve as comic relief in several episodes. As an homage, these characters were named after Antonio Carlos Jobim, respectively named Antonio, Carlos, and Jobim.
With Stan Getz
With Frank Sinatra
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