Two for Tuesday: Antonio Carlos Jobim

Antonio Carlos (“Tom”) Jobim (1925-1994) was one of the primary forces behind bossa nova music, and his songs have become standards that have been recorded by numerous artists, including Frank Sinatra, who recorded an album with him in 1967, Francis Albert Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Possibly his most-familiar song is Garota de Ipanema (“The Girl From Ipanema”); the best-known recording of the song was by Stan Getz, João Gilberto and his wife, Astrud, on the 1963 album Getz/Gilberto, which popularized bossa nova in the United States. (Though one of my favorite songs of all time, I chose not to include it here.)

The hardest thing about doing a “Two for Tuesday” on Jobim is that there are just so many songs of his that I love. I chose two of my favorites: “Wave,” recorded live for Japanese TV (I’m unsure of the date), and “Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars),” from his 1962 debut album, The Composer of Desafinado Plays. A lot of his music is available on YouTube, including a number of full albums. A couple of my favorite albums, largely compilations of previously-recorded material, are Verve Jazz Masters 13: Antonio Carlos Jobim, Antonio Carlos Jobim’s Finest Hour, and Compact Jazz: Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Enjoy Tom Jobim, you Two for Tuesday, July 16, 2013.

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#ROW80: Going quite nicely, thank you, but where?

Good news and bad news!

First the good news: I said I’d write four pages (about a thousand words) a day this round. I’m averaging much more than that. Yesterday, I wrote over three thousand, in fact. So it’s been a good week.

Now the bad news: I have all of these words written (and not rewritten) and I have no clue where all of it is leading me. I can see where a lot of what I’ve written could be little more than backstory that doesn’t end up as part of the finished product. It kind of reminds me of the story of Pablo Picasso (or another sculptor, but Picasso is the name I remember) being asked how he would sculpt a horse, to which he replied, “take a block of wood and cut away everything that doesn’t look like a horse.” Problem was, when Picasso did that, his end product didn’t look much like a horse, either…

That’s really the point I’m at now; I’m hacking away and have no idea what the finished product is going to look like. Still, I have a character that I really like (I may have mentioned Blake) and I’m having a ball getting to know him and the people in his life. Maybe by next round (the round that includes NaNoWriMo) I’ll have some idea of what I’m writing (novel? several novellas (novellae)? collection of short stories?) and I’ll be ready to write it. But for the time being, I’m having fun.

Hope you’re having fun, too, and that you’re progressing on your goals. Have a good week!

Two For Tuesday: Bob James

Bob James is one of the original smooth jazzers. He is a keyboardist, producer, composer and arranger, has collaborated with a number of artists, including Stanley Turrentine, David Sanborn, and Earl Klugh, and is one of the founding members of Fourplay. His music has also been sampled on a number of hip-hop records; whosampled.com informs us that “Nautilus,” from his first album, 1974’s One, has been sampled 32 times, while his song “Take Me To The Mardi Gras” (our second selection today), from his second album, 1975’s Two, has been sampled on 43 different recordings. Fans of the late-’70’s television show Taxi will no doubt recognize our first selection, “Angela,” from 1978’s Touchdown, as the show’s theme song.

Bob’s full discography can be found on his website, which as of this writing shows a further collaboration with David Sanborn, Quartette Humaine, a tribute to the late Dave Brubeck. Many of his songs and collaborations are available on YouTube. Enjoy!

#ROW80: First Round 3 Post

The latest round of A Round of Words in 80 Days started Monday, as did my goal of writing at least four pages (roughly a thousand words) every day. So far, so good: I’ve been working on a lengthy (although not book-length) story since Monday, and so far I have twelve pages and 2,920 words. So I’m on target. Go me!

So, I’m going to post this summary to the Linky and to Facebook, and run around for about an hour and offer my encouragement. You have been warned…

Two for Tuesday: Melody Gardot

I heard this young woman yesterday on Jazzradio.com’s Smooth Jazz 24/7 channel and was just blown away, and wanted to share her with you today. Melody Gardot grew up in Philadelphia and started taking piano lessons when she was nine. By sixteen she was playing in local clubs, though she didn’t think of herself as a musician. At nineteen, she was hit by a car and found it difficult to listen to popular music, so people started giving her records of music that she could listen to, one of which was Stan Getz’s The Bossa Nova Years. Music became a big part of her therapy, and soon it became not just an aid to recovery but a form of self-expression.

She says, “In my eyes, there’s two kinds of music. There’s the kind that rushes out at you, and the kind that settles in and lets you come to it. I prefer the latter of the two. I like the idea of hearing music in the distance; you’re drawn to it and you want to know what it is. To me, that’s beautiful, that’s the essence of listening to music: discovering it, exploring it and finding those little spaces. To have it thrown out at you almost cheapens it.” These two selections, from her second album, My One And Only Thrill, are perfect examples of music that settles in and lets you come to it. The first is “Baby I’m a Fool,” performed live, and the second is “If the Stars Were Mine.” You can see more and hear more of her music on her webpage and her YouTube page, and her music is available on Amazon.com.

Enjoy the lovely Melody Gardot, your Two For Tuesday, July 2, 2013.