A Well-Deserving Tribute
Take a look at the CD cover… This was no ordinary tribute. It was a labor of love from Koning to one of the world’s most beloved songwriters. The chance Josee Koning had to meet Antonio Carlos Jobim in September of 1993 gave birth to this album. With three previous Brazilian music album in her native Holland, Koning felt this was the right time to dedicate an entire CD to Jobim. Originally, Jobim was to have participated in the recordings, but his untimely death on December 8, 1994, prevented his appearance on this album. Well, at least physically.
Tribute was produced and arranged by Dori Caymmi, a long-time collaborator and admirer of Jobim’s music. The band accompanying Koning unites some of the best musicians on both sides of the Atlantic. The late Claudio Slon is on drums, Nathan East on bass, Hans Vroomans on piano (with beautiful playing), Dori himself on acoustic guitar and vocals, Paulinho da Costa on percussion, plus Don Grusin (keyboards), Tom Scott (flute, sax) and others. Only the music of Jobim can unite such a team of talented musicians. To top it all, the smooth vocals and heartfelt renditions by Koning are the icing on this wonderful cake she presented Jobim fans worldwide.
The Jobim/Mendonça classic “Samba de Uma Nota Só” opens the album. Vroomans’ piano accompaniment is sometimes eerie with its resemblance to Jobim’s own piano style. In a nice counterpoint to the steady rhythm, Bill Reichenbach’s trombone solo is highlighted throughout this track. Keeping up the tempo and close arrangement, we then have “Piano na Mangueira.” A nice transition takes place with “A Felicidade,” where Paulinho da Costa’s soft percussion effects dominate the introduction. Koning’s melancholic voice is, as always, beautiful. Her phrasing in this song captures the essence of Jobim’s music and de Moraes’ sad verses. Picking up the beat again, “Só Danço Samba” is sometimes reminiscent of João Donato’s style. A nice interlude in the arrangement adds quite a different transition to this short tune. Again, Vroomans’ piano accompaniment is a highlight here. For “Águas de Março,” Koning is joined by her producer and arranger Dori Caymmi. The two performers deliver this Jobim classic in a very straightforward manner, keeping the arrangement very close to the original we are accustomed to hearing. One of Jobim’s most beautiful tunes, “Lígia” is performed here with rare beauty. There is something in Koning’s voice that evokes an ardent passion when she’s singing romantic tunes such as “Lígia.” Similarly, as in the Bossa Nova anthem “Chega de Saudade,” Koning proves she can swing and have fun in up-tempo tunes.
One of the hardest tasks a performer faces when recording a well-known composer such as Jobim is likely the choice of material. Second to that is how the repertoire is going to be presented. Thanks to solid arrangements by Dori Caymmi, Koning is capable of bringing us classics such as “Corcovado” and “Chovendo na Roseira” into a new realm. In the latter example, Suzie Katayama’s accordion solo is innovative and beautiful. Tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim is a fine recognition to Jobim’s music.
Tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim
Sony CDZ-81919/2-481094 (1995)
- Samba de Uma Nota Só (Tom Jobim – Newton Mendonça)
- Piano na Mangueira (Tom Jobim – Chico Buarque)
- A Felicidade (Tom Jobim – Vinícius de Moraes)
- Só Danço Samba (Tom Jobim – Vinícius de Moraes)
- Águas de Março (Tom Jobim)
- Lígia (Tom Jobim)
- Chega de Saudade (Tom Jobim – Vinícius de Moraes)
- Corcovado (Tom Jobim)
- Pato Preto (Tom Jobim)
- Sem Você (Tom Jobim – Vinícius de Moraes)
- Chovendo na Roseira (Tom Jobim)
- Água de Beber (Tom Jobim – Vinícius de Moraes)
- Anos Dourados (Tom Jobim – Chico Buarque)
- Correnteza (Tom Jobim – Luiz Bonfá)