Tributes to the late Antonio Carlos Jobim are not hard to come by in either Brazilian pop or American and European jazz -- and because Jobim tributes have been so plentiful, consumers need to know which ones are worth obtaining and which ones are forgettable. Unfortunately, many vocalists and instrumentalists succumb to laziness and make the mistake of confining themselves to Jobim's best known standards, which does his memory a disservice because Jobim -- who was amazingly prolific -- wrote a lot of worthwhile songs that didn't become standards. Thankfully, Pascoal Meirelles doesn't make that mistake on his instrumental Jobim tribute, Tom, a post-bop/Brazilian jazz effort that the Brazilian drummer recorded in Rio de Janeiro in 2003. Forming a cohesive trio with bassist Alberto Constentino and guitarist Nelson Faria, Meirelles favors a healthy combination of familiar Jobim standards and Jobim compositions that haven't been beaten to death; Meirelles and his sidemen also offer a few original pieces. Anyone with even a casual interest in Brazilian music has heard "Só Danço Samba" and "Triste" countless times -- those are among Meirelles' more obvious choices -- but the fact that he also interprets "Bonita," "Brigas Nunca Mais," and "Chovendo na Roseira" (none of which fall into the warhorse category) lets you know that the drummer isn't afraid to do his homework. Unlike the Jobim tributes that suffer from an all-standards-all-the-time mentality, Tom acknowledges the fact that there was more to Jobim than "The Girl From Ipanema," "Corcovado," and "One Note Samba" -- as great as those gems are, they are only the tip of the iceberg where Jobim's legacy is concerned. Produced by Arnaldo DeSouteiro, this Brazilian release (which contains Portuguese-language liner notes by trumpeter Claudio Roditi) is among the more interesting and memorable Jobim tributes of the early 2000s.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson