Sylvia Telles Sings the Wonderful Songs of Antonio Carlos Jobim

Sylvia Telles

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Sylvia Telles Sings the Wonderful Songs of Antonio Carlos Jobim Review

by Richie Unterberger

Sylvia Telles devoted much of her career to interpreting the songs of Antonio Carlos Jobim; in fact, more than half the songs she did on record were Jobim covers. Here's an entire album of them, recorded in the mid-'60s, not long before her premature death in a car accident. Of course, by this time Jobim was far more famous in the northern hemisphere than he'd been when Telles first cut Jobim material in the mid-'50s. Indications are that perhaps Telles was eyeing the international market as well, since seven of the twelve songs were sung in English (though the remainder were sung in Portuguese). Regardless of what tongue she's using, it's sumptuously produced mid-'60s bossa nova, delivered well whether in her native language or in English (which she sings fluently). In fact, the sumptuousness borders on lush at times, though of course bossa nova without the sentiment would be rather like eating spaghetti without the sauce. "How Insensitive" is probably the best-known song here, with "Dreamer" rating as the grandest arrangement, and "Eu Preciso De Voce" (with a skipping beat reminiscent of Hollywood musicals) and "And Roses and Roses" the most frivolous ones. But it's a pretty consistent album of Jobim interpretations the whole way through, and probably the most accessible such Telles-Jobim material to the English-speaking audience.