Monday, June 11, 2012
Antônio Carlos Jobim - Stone Flower (1970)
While not the most well known Jobim album per se, Stone Flower definitely takes many more risks than previous efforts like 1967's Wave. While it has the same laid back feel with close harmonies, Stone Flower often entertains the ear by taking chord progressions and lush orchestrations that Wave had to the next level. One chief reason for the change in sound and conception is that the orchestrations are done by Eumir Deodato, rather than Claus Ogerman in Wave. Tracks like "Amparo " or "God and the Devil in the Land of the Sun" have unusual instrumentations and rhythmic content that proves that the album is more than just simply latin, or specifically bossa nova. With this album, Jobim was no longer "riding off of the coattails" of the bossa nova craze of the early-to-mid 1960s. While many consider write Jobim off and classify him as a "Brazilian" or "Latin" composer, Jobim's embrace of jazz is practically second to no one in Latin music. Some music critics today may argue that Jobim's music is not jazz. It doesn't swing, but just listen to "Tereza My Love" or "Sabia" and deny jazz as an influence to Jobim's music. Many times, critics like to attach genres to labels in order to easily classify and create a sort of technical jargon. Often times, though, there is the problematic artist that just doesn't "fit" in a genre. Sure there are Latin elements in Jobim's music like the eternal presence of the danzon rhythm, but I don't think many Latin artists have the talented personnel nor mature conception of jazz that Jobim utilizes on his albums. Like many Jobim albums, he is often behind the keys and lends his voice to the tracks "Sabia" and "Brazil." A rarity for a Jobim album, there is a cover of the Ary Barroso's famous tune "Brazil." On this reissued version, there is a alternate take of Brazil which is much more staccato and includes some orchestration, in which regard the original take is the complete opposite.