Antônio Carlos Jobim

The Wonderful World of Antonio Carlos Jobim

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Unlike his debut, Jobim's second LP for the American market was strictly a pop album, with the composer himself singing, while the arranging/conducting chores were placed in the capable hands of Nelson Riddle. What promises to be an excellent collaboration, however, doesn't quite turn out, and the results are much more bland than could be expected from such distinct talents. To begin with, Riddle's charts are surprisingly safe, quite a disappointment from the man whose work with Frank Sinatra raised the bar for the art of arranging. Jobim's contributions are less than expected also, limited for the most part to his quavering vocals (Warner Bros. seems to have been positioning him as a pop star) and a set of compositions inferior to his first album (only "Agua de Beber" is repeated here). Jobim's is the voice of a composer, though, and what he lacks in tonal quality and strength he does make up for with delivery and subtlety of interpretation, especially on contemplative material like "Dindi" and "A Felicidade." It's not all Brazilian ennui; the instrumental "Surfboard" has a playful edge, with a rush of strings bringing on the collapse of each wave, and "She's a Carioca" (with English lyrics by Ray Gilbert) is a cheerful sequel to "The Girl From Ipanema."

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