Monday, 11 July 2016
Antonio Carlos Jobim - Wave (1967)
To kick off then, here's possibly the finest, most exquisite example of 60s bossanova, with the legendary Antonio Carlos Jobim pairing up with arranger Claus Ogerman to produce a succinct album of instant classics, topped off with Creed Taylor's production sheen. Right from the start of the title track, Ogerman's shimmering wall of strings establishes itself like an airport runway heathaze, then languid brass and winds waft in to provide a gentle breeze in the sweltering heat. Jobim's guitar or piano are always mixed up front to carry these indelible melodies or carry the bossanova rhythms, and everything is securely underpinned by the great jazz bassist Ron Carter.
The perfection of Ogerman's arranging and Taylor's early-CTI production really can't be overstated here - on Antigua for instance, flutes carry the winding melody until Jobim brings in harpsichord for a star guest turn. The reverb on the latter instrument is just enough to make the otherwise out-of-kilter baroque instrument sparkle like sunlight off the surface of the sea. Wave is also a well-paced album; if a track like Dialogo starts to lull you into a poolside snooze, Lamento picks up the pace again, and features Jobim's smoky, melancholic voice for the only time on this flawless album.