Elis & Tom

Elis & Tom

4.5 2
by Antonio Carlos Jobim
     
 

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When Elis Regina and Antonio Carlos Jobim came together to record this album in 1974, she -- at 29 -- was already considered one of Brazil's greatest singers, and he was renowned as one of the country's most beloved songwriters. Yet the two luminaries hardly knew each other and reportedly were actually nervous about meeting. The chemistry once they sat down to record,… See more details below

Overview

When Elis Regina and Antonio Carlos Jobim came together to record this album in 1974, she -- at 29 -- was already considered one of Brazil's greatest singers, and he was renowned as one of the country's most beloved songwriters. Yet the two luminaries hardly knew each other and reportedly were actually nervous about meeting. The chemistry once they sat down to record, though, is now legendary -- and palpable on this seminal recording. The record opens with Jobim's famous "Aguas De Março" (Waters of March). Though it wasn't the first recording of the song, the duo's laughing exchanges and Regina's easy yet precise mastery made this version definitive. Regina also puts her stamp on Jobim classics such as "Triste" and "Corcovado." Elsewhere the duo and their understated accompaniment alternate between laid-back syncopated swing and slower songs that showcase the emotional range of Regina's celebrated instrument. Rightfully considered a classic, this album represents two musical giants at the height of their powers. Regina -- who died of an overdose at 37 -- sings with power, delicacy, swing and emotion; while Jobim exudes an avuncular charm that is made up of equal parts elegance and good humor.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
This beautiful -- and now legendary -- recording date between iconic Brazilian vocalist Elis Regina and composer, conductor, and arranger Tom Jobim is widely regarded as one of the greatest Brazilian pop recordings. It is nearly ubiquitous among Brazilians as a household item. Regina's voice is among the most loved in the history of Brazilian music. Her range and acuity, her unique phrasing, and her rainbow of emotional colors are literally unmatched, and no matter the tune or arrangement, she employs most of them on these 14 cuts. Another compelling aspect of this recording is the young band Jobim employs here and allows pretty free rein throughout. He plays piano on eight of these tracks, and guitar on two others, but the fluid, heightened instincts of these players -- guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves, Luizão Maia on bass, drummer Paulinho Braga, and pianist César Mariano -- reveal them to be at the top of their game for this rather informal date that does include a few numbers with a full orchestra. That said, most of these songs were completed as first takes with very little overdubbing. The ballads are stunning -- check"Modinha," written and arranged by Jobim. The chart, even with an orchestral backing, is amazingly terse because the composer knew Regina worked best within minimal settings. Only two minutes and 16 seconds in length, it nonetheless captures the Portuguese notion of "saudade" perfectly. Of course, most of these tunes are bossa novas. The opening "Águas de Março" features a deceptively simple cat-and-mouse vocal call and response, kicking the disc off on a light, cheerful note; it's a delightful and very sophisticated number, but it feels effortless. "Triste" is one of Jobim's finest tunes, and there is scarcely a better version of it than this one. Even with electric guitars (complete with a semi-funky solo in the middle eight) on top of the nylon strings, the gauzy yet pronounced rhythms and the languid melody delivered by Regina are gorgeous. "Corcovado" is done with an orchestra, full of lilting flutes and a deep string backdrop. It is mournful and sensual. Jobim plays guitar and piano here, and adds a hushed backing vocal to Regina's refrains. It's an unusual reading, but a stellar one. "Brigas, Nuncas Mais" is a wonderfully accented -- if brief -- bossa nova with all the percussion just above the threshold of hearing. It's all guitars, bass, and Regina in the first verse before the Rhodes piano and counterpoint enter near the end. She does more to express the true elegant sensuality of the bossa nova in a minute and 13 seconds than some singers have in a lifetime. Jobim's classic jazz ballad "Inútil Paisagem" is very difficult to deliver well, because it requires incredible restraint and emotion. Accompanied only by Jobim's piano -- and his all-but-whispered backing vocal -- this is truly one of Regina's greatest performances of the 1970s. It closes the album on a stunning high note, leaving nothing to be desired by the listener.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/03/2008
Label:
Verve
UPC:
0600753084465
catalogNumber:
001129602
Rank:
13967

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Antonio Carlos Jobim   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Vocals
Elis Regina   Vocals,Track Performer
Chico Batera   Percussion
Paulinho Braga   Drums
Oscar Castro-Neves   Acoustic Guitar
Helio Delmiro   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Luizão Maia   Bass
César Camargo Mariano   Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Electric Piano
Bill Hitchcock   Conductor

Technical Credits

Seigen Ono   Remastering
Elis Regina   Author
Aloysio de Oliveira   Producer
Humberto Gatica   Engineer
Antonio Carlos Jobim   Arranger
Kevin Reeves   Mastering
Neil Tesser   Liner Notes
César Camargo Mariano   Arranger
Hollis King   Art Direction
Aloysio Oliveira   Producer

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