Pieced together from various albums to showcase what a remarkably consistent songwriter and performer Antonio Carlos Jobim was, Hip-O's 20th Century Masters - The Best of Antonio Carlos Jobim opens with two of Jobim's compositions from Stan Getz and João Gilberto's quintessential bossa nova record, Getz/Gilberto, before threading through his own career. With over 12 tracks, many of Jobim's defining songs are covered, from "The Girl from Ipanema" (the song that kick-started the careers of both Jobim and Astrud Gilberto, while also bringing bossa nova to popular consciousness) to "Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)," a song proving that Jobim's talent only grew in emotional depth and complexity over ten years of being in the public eye. Though two-thirds of this collection focuses, rightly so, on his material from the early to mid-'60s, four tracks glimpse at his career in the 1970s and '80s as proof that Jobim's high standards, both as a songwriter and producer, were never forsaken. 20th Century Masters - The Best of Antonio Carlos Jobim proves an excellent set for those casually interested in exploring Jobim's work and the shaping of bossa nova.
AllMusic Review by Gregory McIntosh