Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
JOBIM, Antonio Carlos 'Tom'
(b 25 Jan. '27, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; d 8 Dec. '94, NYC) Composer, lyricist, pianist, sometime singer, one of the inventors of bossa nova. He studied architecture but turned to music and played in bars in Rio; he wrote songs with leading singer/songwriter Dolores Duran until her early death at age 29, then with poet Vinicius de Moraes, incl. play Orfeu de Concei‡]ata[o, which became the film Black Orpheus '58, and classic songs '58--63 often sung by Jo]ata[o Gilberto, such as 'So Dan‡o Samba', 'Samba do Avi]ata[o', 'Insensatez', 'Chega de Saudade' and one of the best-known songs written since WWII, 'Garota de Ipanema', 'The Girl From Ipanema', about a girl in a bikini he saw on her way to the beach in the suburb of Rio. He wrote other bossa classics on his own, such as 'Corcovado' (with English lyrics by Gene Lees as 'Quiet Nights And Quiet Stars'), and with his friend Newton Mendon‡a (d age 33), incl. 'Samba de uma Nota So', 'Medita‡]ata[o' and 'Desafinado' ('Out Of Tune'). He moved to the USA, where many songs were translated by Ray Gilbert, and spent much of his time there; he reckoned he'd written 300- -400 songs. His style, presentation and his occasional singing were invariably gentle. Most of his albums were recorded in Los Angeles (for which he was much criticized in Brazil); they incl. The Composer Of Desafinado '63 on Verve, A Certain Mr Jobim '67 (cond. by Claus Ogerman) and The Wonderful World Of '78 (Nelson Riddle), both now on Discovery, Stone Flower '70 on Columbia, Francis Albert Sinatra And Antonio Carlos Jobim '67 on Reprise, Elis And Tom '74 (with Elis Regina) on Verve and many more. One of his lesser known was Urubu '76 ('Vulture'): he was an early proponent of environmental protection, which he campaigned for using a vulture called Jereba. Among many albums of his songs by others, the most celebrated was Frank Sinatra's; see also Salena Jones.