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This quartet consists of cellist-arranger Jacques Morelenbaum, who played with Antonio Carlos Jobim on one of his last recordings, Passarim, before Jobim's death in 1994; his wife, vocalist Paula; Jobim's son, pianist Daniel; and his grandson Paulo on guitar. On this CD not only do they extend Jobim's legacy into the 21st century, but in this chamber format they highlight the softer side of Jobim's bossa nova blend of the Afro-Brazilian samba, jazz, and the French impressionist harmonies of Ravel and Debussy. Augmented by bass, drums, and percussion, the quartet delivers engaging and ethereal renditions of classic Jobim mid-'60s bossa nova standards including "Agua de Beber," "Ela e' Carioca," "Meditacão," and "Desafinado," sung by Paulo. The haunting "A Felicidade" and "Lamento no Morro" from Jobim's Academy Award-winning soundtrack to Black Orpheus are updated with taste and verve, especially in the balance between voice and instrumentation. Paulo Jobim's "Mantiqueira Range" is a direct descendant of his grandfather's harmonic genius, and it may prove to be an example of pleasant things to come from this stunning group. --Eugene Holley Jr.
The music of Antonio Carlos Jobim has been inherited by his family, and it is in very good hands. On this beautiful recording, Jobim's guitarist son Paulo and his pianist grandson Daniel-both singers as well-are joined by the husband and wife team of Jacques and Paula Morelenbaum, on cello and vocals, respectively. The Morelenbaums, like the Jobims, were members of the legendary composer's later groups, and it shows. This CD recalls the glory days of bossa nova with its sensitive, gently compelling renditions of Jobim classics and lesser-known gems, in performances that are both faithful to the spirit of the original versions and distinctive in their own right. -- From Rhythm Magazine
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The recording here is as perfect as it could possibly be -- every instrument and voice is clearly heard. The arrangements are sparse and delicate, yet amazingly full at the same time. Aside from the musicians mentioned above, only light drums and percussion are added on these tunes -- and acoustic bass, only on three tracks. There is nothing to 'get in the way' -- the beauty of these songs shines through wonderfully.
There are several here that are Jobim classics -- but then, almost everything he wrote should probably be included in that category -- 'Aqua de beber', 'Meditacao', 'A felicidade', 'Corcovado', 'Desafinado', 'Aguas de Marco'. Every track on the cd is first-rate. My hope is that there are other collections to follow. The Quarteto has dedicated itself to Tom's music -- if there comes a time when this realm is expanded, I feel certain that the results will be just a enjoyable.
This cd would be absolutely perfect as a gift to introduce a friend to the wonders of Brazilian music...
With the Jobim heirs (son Paulo on guitar and grandson Daniel on vocals and piano), and Paula and Jacques Morelenbaum on vocals and cello respectively this recent production captures the spirit of the bossa.
One significant improvement over A. C. Jobim's work is the notable absence of string embellishment used to death in the 60s (think Wes Montgomery), to be replaced by the very expressive and brooding organic feel of Morelenbaum's cello. J. Morelenbaum's expressive work is also heard more recently on Ryuichi Sakamoto's minimalist 1996 album.
That being said, the production is slick, and slightly lacking in the down to earth feel of A.C. Jobim's less rhythmic legato feel and Astrud Gilberto's "slightly off key" singing. The feel is very "on the money" and driving. Daniel's vocals hits you with a sense of deja vu... is that grandfather Jobim buried somewhere in his voice? Influences from this album range from the parent bossa to classical.
This is probably how A.C. Jobim would've launched the bossa wave if he decided to do so in this era. A superlative work which will liberate A.C. Jobim's work from the confines of elevator muzak.
Example: Águas de Março has been done so many times, with renditions across the spectrum from infective to trite, that you may feel there could be nothing new to add by now. Trust me: the spin this tightly-knit quartet puts on that hypnotic tonal composition is entirely fresh and compelling.