Antônio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim (January 25, 1927 – December 8, 1994), also known as Tom Jobim (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈtõ ʒoˈbĩ]), was a Brazilian songwriter, composer, arranger, singer, and pianist/guitarist. He was a primary force behind the creation of the bossa nova style, and his songs have been performed by many singers and instrumentalists within Brazil and internationally.
Jobim's musical roots were planted firmly in the work of Pixinguinha, the legendary musician and composer who began modern Brazilian music in the 1930s. Among his teachers were Lúcia Branco, and, from 1941 on, Hans-Joachim Koellreutter. Jobim was also influenced by the French composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, by the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, and by jazz. Among many themes, his lyrics talked about love, self discovery, betrayal, joy and especially about the birds and natural wonders of Brazil, like the "Mata Atlântica" forest, characters of Brazilian folklore like Matita Pereira (Saci Pererê), and his home city of Rio de Janeiro.
Jobim became prominent in Brazil when he teamed up with poet and diplomat Vinícius de Moraes to write the music for the play Orfeu de Conceição (1956). The most popular song from the show was "Se Todos Fossem Iguais a Você" ("Someone to Light Up My Life"). Later, when the play was turned into a film, producer Sacha Gordine did not want to use any of the existing music from the play. Gordine asked de Moraes and Jobim for a new score for the film Black Orpheus (1959). Moraes was at the time away in Montevideo, Uruguay, working for the Itamaraty (the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and so he and Jobim were only able to write three songs, primarily over the telephone ("A Felicidade", "Frevo",and "O Nosso Amor"). This collaboration proved successful, and Vinicius went on to pen the lyrics to some of Jobim's most popular songs.
A key event in making Jobim's music known in the English speaking world was his collaboration with the American jazz saxophonist Stan Getz, João Gilberto and Gilberto's wife at the time, Astrud Gilberto, which resulted in two albums, Getz/Gilberto (1963) and Getz/Gilberto Vol. 2 (1964). The release of Getz/Gilberto created a bossa nova craze in the United States, and subsequently internationally.
Getz had previously recorded Jazz Samba with Charlie Byrd (1962), and Jazz Samba Encore! with Luiz Bonfá (1964). Jobim wrote many of the songs on Getz/Gilberto, which became one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time, and turned Astrud Gilberto, who sang on "The Girl from Ipanema" and "Corcovado", into an international sensation.
At the Grammy Awards of 1965 Getz/Gilberto won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group and the Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. "The Girl from Ipanema" won the award for Grammy Award for Record of the Year.
Antonio Carlos Jobim was born in the middle-class district of Tijuca, in Rio de Janeiro. His father Jorge de Oliveira Jobim (São Gabriel, Rio Grande do Sul, April 23, 1889 - July 19, 1935) was a writer, diplomat, professor and journalist. He came from a prominent family, being the great-grand nephew of José Martins da Cruz Jobim, senator, privy councillor and physician of Emperor Dom Pedro II. While studying medicine in Europe, José Martins added Jobim to his last name, paying homage to the village where his family came from in Portugal, the parish of Santa Cruz de Jovim, Porto.
When Antonio was still an infant, his parents separated and his mother, Nilza Brasileiro de Almeida (c. 1910 - November 17, 1989), moved with her children (Antonio Carlos and his sister Helena Isaura, born February 23, 1931) to Ipanema, the beachside neighborhood the composer would later celebrate in his songs. In 1935, when the elder Jobim died, Nilza married Celso da Frota Pessoa (died February 2, 1979), who would encourage his stepson's career. He was the one that gave Jobim his first piano.
As a young man of limited means, Jobim earned his living by playing in nightclubs and bars and later as an arranger for a recording label, before starting to achieve success as a composer.
Jobim was married to Thereza Otero Hermanny on October 15, 1949 and had two children with her: Paulo Jobim (born August 4, 1950), an architect and musician, married and father of Daniel Jobim and Dora Jobim (born May 6, 1976); and Elizabeth "Beth" Jobim (born August 26, 1957), a painter. Jobim and Hermanny divorced in 1978. On April 30, 1986 he married photographer Ana Beatriz Lontra, born in 1957, daughter of Álvaro Augusto da Fonseca Lontra and Esmeralda Lemos, with whom he had two more children: João Francisco Jobim (October 30, 1979 – July 21, 1998) and Maria Luiza Helena Jobim (born March 20, 1987). His grandson Daniel Jobim (born February 23, 1973), Paulo's son, followed his grandfather's steps, becoming a pianist and composer.
In early 1994, after finishing his album Antonio Brasileiro, Jobim complained to his doctor, Roberto Hugo Costa Lima, of urinary problems, which included urinating blood. A bladder tumor was detected, but Jobim postponed the recommended immediate surgery for several months, while he tried spiritual treatment with a Brazilian medium and started working with his album Tom Jobim. After receiving a message allegedly coming from Frederik von Stein, a dead German doctor, that recommended not having the surgery, Jobim decided to stop listening to the spiritual guidance and have the surgery instead. He was operated in Mount Sinai Hospital, in New York, on December 2, 1994. On December 8, while recovering from surgery, he had a cardiac arrest caused by a pulmonary embolism and two hours later another cardiac arrest, from which he died. His last words were: "Remember me". He was survived by his children and grandchildren. His last album, Antonio Brasileiro, was released three days after his death.
Jobim's body was flown back to Brazil on December 9, 1994 and was given a private funeral on December 13, 1994 in Rio de Janeiro. His family, his friends Miúcha, Edu Lobo, João Gilberto, Astrud Gilberto and his close friends came to his funeral. His body lay in state until given a proper burial on December 20, 1994.
He is buried in the Cemitério São João Batista in Rio de Janeiro.
In 1999 five years after his death, a "best of" album The Best of Tom Jobim, which included his greatest work, was released. It was compiled by his family and friends.
Antônio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim (Río de Janeiro, 25 de enero de 1927 - Nueva York, 8 de diciembre de 1994), conocido como Tom Jobim o Antonio Carlos Jobim, fue un compositor, cantante, guitarrista y pianista brasileño de bossa nova.
Está considerado como uno de los grandes exponentes de la música brasileña, Jobim es el artista que internacionaliza la bossa nova y, con la ayuda de importantes artistas estadounidenses, la fusiona con el jazz para crear en los años sesenta un nuevo sonido cuyo éxito popular fue muy destacable. Jobim está considerado como uno de los grandes compositores de música popular del siglo XX.
Las raíces de Jobim en el jazz están en sus admiradas grabaciones de Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, Barney Kessel y otros músicos del West Coast jazz o cool de los años cincuenta. Además, el mismo Jobim apuntó que el compositor impresionista francés Claude Debussy tuvo una influencia decisiva en sus armonías, así como el samba brasileño proporcionó a su música un original ritmo exótico siempre presente. Como pianista, su toque es sencillo y melódico, al estilo de un Claude Thornhill, aunque en algunas de sus grabaciones llegase a demostrar que podía ser sumamente inventivo. Su guitarra está limitada principalmente a un acompañamiento apacible a los ritmos sincopados del jazz; su voz, suave, sencilla y ligeramente ronca, subraya los aspectos emocionales de las letras.
Jobim ya estaba encaminado en principio a la carrera de arquitecto. Sin embargo, al cumplir los veinte años, la llamada de la música se hizo tan poderosa que empezó a tocar el piano en los nightclubs y a trabajar en estudios de grabación. Hizo su primera grabación en 1954, acompañando al cantante Bill Farr como líder de «Tom e a sua Banda». Su primer gran éxito le llegó en 1956 cuando, junto con el poeta Vinícius de Moraes, elaboró parte de la música de una obra teatral llamada Orfeo da Conceição (más tarde convertida en película, Orfeo negro). En 1958, Jobim produce un disco, por su particular estilo bossa nova (‘tendencia nueva’ o new wave; del portugués bossa: ‘aptitud, tendencia, vocación’), al guitarrista y cantante João Gilberto, grabando algunas de las canciones de Jobim con arreglos musicales del mismo, dando comienzo al género musical de la bossa nova, siendo Chega de saudade el éxito bossa nova por antonomasia.
El despegue de Jobim fuera de Brasil se produjo en 1962 cuando Stan Getz consiguió un sorprendente éxito con su tema Desafinado; un año después, Jobim y varios músicos brasileños más fueron invitados a participar en un espectáculo en el Carnegie Hall, donde es estrenada Garota de Ipanema (The Girl from Ipanema), y por ende, el éxito de la música brasileña, esta melodía grabó además una versión al lado del cantante estadounidense Frank Sinatra. Empujada por las canciones de Jobim, la bossa nova se convirtió en un éxito internacional, y los músicos de jazz se acercaron a ella, grabándose númerosos discos hasta agotar su tirón comercial a finales de los años sesenta.
Jobim prefirió los estudios de grabación a las giras, grabando varios discos de su música como pianista, guitarrista y cantante para Verve, Warner Bros., Discovery, A&M, CTI y MCA en los sesenta y setenta, volviendo a Verve en los últimos años de su vida. En principio, comenzó a colaborar con el arreglista y director Claus Ogerman. Al agotarse el éxito de la música brasileña en Estados Unidos, Jobim se concentró en el cine y en la televisión brasileña. Pero hacia 1985, con el auge de las llamadas músicas del mundo y de una segunda ola de música brasileña, Jobim comenzó una gira con un grupo en el que estaba su segunda mujer, Ana Lontra, su hijo Paulo, su hija Elizabeth, y varios músicos amigos.