Imagine yourself on a sandy South American beach: waves lapping against the shore, breeze gently blowing your hair, hot sun on your face. Not the beach-going type, you say? Well, how about Montreal, where the godfather of Brazilian samba, Antonio Carlos Jobim, delivered the next best thing to actually going to Brazil: hearing its music performed by one of its greatest players. Originally taped in 1986 for Canadian television, Jobim at the Montreal Jazz Festival is a great document of the iconic Brazilian singer’s work and trademark style.
Jobim contributed a large body of original songs to the jazz-standard repertoire, and while it’s been said that he preferred working in the studio over performing, you would never have guessed based upon this sophisticated and spot-on performance of many of his classic tunes. The opening “Samba de Uma Nota So” (or “One Note Samba”) is an upbeat, airy tune with Jobim’s brightly clad back-up vocalists shining on perfect harmonies. “Chega de Saudade” shows that Jobim’s modest, emotional vocals are as crisp as ever.