This is a very useful anthology for Antonio Carlos Jobim collectors, who can now acquire on one CD the entire contents of the Warner Bros. albums The Wonderful World of Antonio Carlos Jobim and A Certain Mr. Jobim, plus four unreleased tracks from the latter session and the two Jobim-penned songs from Love, Strings and Jobim. These sessions, however, do not represent the best of '60s Jobim; they sound like attempts to commercialize the great man by presenting him mainly as an English-language vocalist who thus might sell his songs to American easy listening consumers. In the Wonderful World sessions, Nelson Riddle takes the reins of the orchestra, but the man who could brilliantly reveal Frank Sinatra's soul doesn't quite mesh with Jobim's; the backings are too bright for the composer's dark, yearning undercurrents. The two cuts from Love, Strings and Jobim are too brash and vulgar for words (could this really be the work of Eumir Deodato?) but with A Certain Mr. Jobim, Jobim is back in the more delicate hands of Claus Ogerman, who lays on the elusive saudade shadings most effectively in the four lovely Portuguese-language outtakes. There are generous quotas of Jobim classics here, several forgettable songs too, but also some instrumental sleepers like the tone poem "Surfboard" (heard twice) and the stunningly beautiful "Estrada de Sol." Jobim nuts will want this, of course, but the Creed Taylor-produced albums from this era are far more musically and emotionally right.
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AllMusic Review by Richard S. Ginell