A.C. Jobim is dead
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 94 18:15:51 PST
Subject: A.C. Jobim is dead
[Damn! And I just finished writing a minor-key bossa nova.
A coincidence, I'm sure; but still... Damn. -psl]
Forwarded-by: "Dan ``Sparky'' Tenenbaum" <email@example.com>
Brazilian Founder Of Bossa Nova Jobim Dies
By Ellen Wulfhorst
NEW YORK (Reuter) - Antonio Carlos Jobim, the founding father of Brazil's
bossa nova music who composed the world-famous song ``The Girl From
Ipanema,'' died Thursday at a New York hospital. He was 67.
Jobim died of heart failure shortly after 7 a.m. EST, a spokeswoman for
Mount Sinai Medical Center said.
He had been in the hospital since Monday and had undergone minor surgery
Wednesday, said his attorney David Grossberg.
Jobim had been recovering but developed complications and died about 15
hours after the operation, the attorney said. His death was unexpected and is
being investigated, he said.
Friends of the family said Jobim also had undergone surgery on Monday to
remove tumors from his bladder and that the composer had an existing heart
Jobim, Brazil's most prominent songwriter and composer, burst onto the
international music scene with the bossa nova sound in the early 1960s.
``The Girl From Ipanema,'' sung by Astrud Gilberto, charmed listeners
with its sensual rhythm and romantic lyrics. Jobim's distinctive rhythms and
catchy melodies made bossa nova -- literally, the new wave -- a musical craze
around the world.
Antonio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim was born in Tijuca, a
neigborhood of Rio de Janeiro, in 1927.
He first played music on a piano rented by his parents for an older
sister. After working briefly in an architect's office, Jobim began his
musical career in a Rio recording studio, transcribing songs by composers
unable to write music.
In 1954, he wrote his first song, samba-influenced ``A Week Ago.'' In
1958, he met guitarist Joao Gilberto, with whom he would record some of the
most famous bossa nova songs.
In the 1950s, playing the piano in Rio and heavily influenced by
songwriter Cole Porter and jazz musicians Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis,
Jobim and his friends began to infuse the jazz with the traditional Brazilian
samba sound, said music writer Howard Mandel.
``That became bossa nova,'' he said. ``It was the music that opened up
Brazil as a modern cultural exporter.''
``The Girl From Ipanema,'' recorded in 1962, was a smash hit, earning
Jobim and U.S. jazz saxophonist Stan Getz four Grammy music awards. The movie
``Black Orpheus, for which Jobim wrote most of the soundtrack, also helped
fuel the bossa nova phenomenon.
``He represented what was best, most pure and most inventive about Rio de
Janeiro. It will be hard to imagine a Rio without Tom,'' said friend and
producer Albino Pinheiro.
In an uncanny twist of musical fate, Getz, arguably Jobim's best known
collaborator, was born on the same day, in the same year and at the same hour
as Jobim. Getz died of liver cancer two years ago.
Jobim also worked closely with Rio poet Vinicius de Moraes, who wrote the
lyrics to ``The Girl From Ipanema.''
Pinheiro said Jobim earned next to nothing for ``The Girl From Ipanema''
because the rights belong to a U.S. publishing company.
Brazilian Culture Minister Luis Roberto Nascimento da Silva, speaking
Thursday on Brazilian radio, said: ``Like all Brazilians, I am sad and very
``It was Tom Jobim who made Brazilian music and our culture well-known
around the world,'' he said.
``For me, he was the world's greatest composer,'' said Brazilian
song-writer Almir Chediak. ``Music can be divided into pre-Tom Jobim and
Rio governor Nilo Batista declared three days of mourning in Rio de
Janeiro state. He said Jobim's coffin will be carried with full honors
through the city to Rio's Botanical Gardens where it will lie in state. A
funeral is scheduled for Friday afternoon.
Jobim also wrote hits such as ``Desafinado,'' ``One Note Samba,''
``Waters of March,'' ``Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars,'' ``How Insensitive'' and
He recorded with Brazilian singers such as the late Elis Regina and Chico
Buarque and first recorded with Frank Sinatra in the 1960s. He appeared on
Sinatra's recent Duets II recording and was due to record on the upcoming
Duets III, Brazilian radio said. He also recently recorded with British
Jobim last appeared in New York in April to mark the 50th anniversary of
Verve Records at Carnegie Hall, where he performed many of his most popular
Saxophonist Joe Henderson, who just completed a recording of Jobim's
songs and was due go into studio with the composer, said he was shocked to
hear the news.
``That will be a loss that I will certainly feel,'' said Henderson. ``It
was an honor for me to be around such an important composer and writer.''
``In some mysterious kind of way, maybe this project was supposed to be
an epitaph for him. I feel good about the project but it would have been
better if he would have been able to share that with us,'' Henderson said.
Jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis called Jobim's death ``a great tragedy,''
adding ``he combined so many sounds that spanned different worlds.''
Jobim was married twice and had four children. He was married first in
1949 to Tereza Otero Ermani, with whom he had two children, Paulo and
Elizabeth. In 1978, he married Ana Beatriz Lontra, and they had two children,
Jose Francisco and Maria Luiza Elena.
© 1994 Peter Langston