Antonio Carlos Jobim - Stone Flower (1970)

Posted By: bossa_curiosa
Antonio Carlos Jobim - Stone Flower (1970)

Antonio Carlos Jobim - Stone Flower (1970)
Cool/Bossa Nova | MP3 CBR 320 Kbps | Release: 1970/2001 | Label: CTI/Sony | 40 min | 75 Mb

Antonio Carlos Jobim is to Brazilian music what Duke Ellington is to American jazz—an innovative, prolific, and sublime pianist /songwriter whose art has come to symbolize a certain time and place. Influenced as much by the cool sounds of '50s West Coast jazz as by the melodies of Claude Debussy and the rhythms of the Brazilian samba, Jobim wrote the songs that, when performed by the likes of Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto, drove the global bossa nova craze of the'60s. A subtle pianist and guitarist with a soft gravelly voice and a penchant for writing seductive melodies, Jobim always lived in the shadows of those who covered his songs and turned them into hits. While it was Jobim's "Desafinado" that first put bossa nova on the map in 1962 (when Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd scored a surprise hit covering the song), the man behind the music lived in relative obscurity until he was "rediscovered" shortly before his death in the mid-'90s.

By 1970, the year Jobim recorded Stone Flower, the music industry had already succeeded in destroying the public's appetite for bossa nova by oversaturating the market with schlocky albums recorded by fading musicians intent on reviving their careers with a little Brazilian spice. These mass-produced, superficially bossa nova albums were typically formulaic and contrived, generating a garbage glut which all but guaranteed that Jobim's sophisticated Stone Flower would wilt outside the limelight. Recorded by Rudy Van Gelder and produced by Creed Taylor, this understated Jobim masterpiece brought back all of the hushful elegance and simmering beauty that had originally defined the bossa nova sound. Far from a conventional bossa nova album, Stone Flower was ambitious and original, infused with all of Jobim's creativity and tender soulfulness. The opening track, "Tereza My Love," establishes the lush mood of the album, with a gently strummed acoustic guitar playing out a bossa nova rhythm as Jobim adds meditative touches of piano. The delicate yet complex string, wind, and horn arrangements of Deodato float sensuously over the smouldering rhythms of bassist Ron Carter, drummer Joao Palma, and percussionists Airto Moreira and Everaldo Ferreira. "Children's Games" and "Brazil" draw out the feeling, as Jobim's electric and acoustic piano melodies glide with minimalist grace. The music is moody and cinematic, conjuring up vivid equatorial landscapes of green and blue, sand swept paradises of the mind, imaginary vistas to absorb as the album plays. More of a unified suite than a collection of individual songs, Stone Flower provided Jobim with no radio hits because it had none to yield (although Carlos Santana would later cover "Stone Flower" on his Top Ten album, Caravanserai). The album is a cohesive whole, unfolding song by song, gradually filling the listener with its dreamy vibe. And because mood is everything, there are surprisingly few solos taken, despite the presence of such major jazz talents as Joe Farrell on soprano sax and Hubert Laws on flute. These musicians play with uncharacteristic restraint, stepping out occasionally to punctuate the music with just the right color and shading.

Simply put, Stone Flower is a lush, deceptively simple, late-night Jobim classic. It is the perfect soundtrack for escaping into your own mental oasis. - John Ballon,


1. Tereza My Love
2. Children's Games
3. Choro
4. Brazil
5. Stone Flower
6. Amparo
7. Andorinha
8. God and the Devil in the Land of the Sun
9. Sabia
10. Brazil [Alternate Take]

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