Antonio Carlos Jobim or Tom Jobim (1927-1994), a great Brazilian composer, songwriter as well as one of Bossa Nova inventors, was born in the middle class family. His father was a writer, diplomat & journalist, while his mother belonged to indigenous kin from the Northeast of Brazil. The high status of Tom Jobim’s father influenced much his childhood. The music was not in favour among his relatives, who were mostly doctors & advocates. When the first piano, bought for his sister Helena Isaura, appeared in the house Tom Jobim regarded it as a girlish instrument.
After his parents’ separation he moved to Ipanema, a legendary place he would make famous one day. In fact, since this movement his first steps into the music began. His step-father paid attention to his talent & gave him his first piano & paid the best teachers of music. Choosing of his own predestination demanded certain sacrifices: he had given up the Faculty of Architecture & had to played in nightclubs & bars to earn his living to support his own family & children.
Tom Jobim’s professional career began in the early 1950s with the Continental Studio, where he worked as an arranger & recorded his first compositions. One of them was Incerteza (1953) performed by Mauricy Moura. The success came to Jobim when he got acquainted with Vinicius de Moraes, a poet & diplomat. Together they wrote the music for the play Orfeu da Conceição (1956) later filmed as Orfeu Negro/Black Orfeo (1959). – Esteemed Readers, if you are still unaware of this masterpiece, it’s time to watch it! – Collaboration with Vinicius de Moraes was a very fruitful union for both genii. They have made plenty of immortal compositions, including the Garota de Ipanema/Girl from Ipanema.
Bossa Nova: together with another great composer João Gilberto they invented a set of new music harmonies & called it Bossa Nova/ New Style. Three first Bossa compositions are considered to be: Bim-Bom, Chega de Saudade & Outra Vez. However, Bossa Nova was far more just a music current. Vinicius de Moraes used to state that “this music returned us back to minstrels’ epoch. The musicians who played Bossa praised their Fair Lady, l’amour courtois & chivalry”.
Bossa Nova had a great success in the USA. Tom Jobim collaborated with Frank Sinatra, Sting & many other famous singers. Unfortunately, the American experience ended badly: the Americans acquired the rights to Garota de Ipanema/Girl from Ipanema & other Jobim’s songs fraudently. The Bossa Nova trend in the USA was over, so Antonio Carlos had to go on making his career in Brazil.
The political situation in the country affected lives of many artists of that time. Any way Antonio Carlos Jobim was forced to leave Brazil & to spend much time in New York where he had his own apartment.
He died from a cardiac arrest, while recovering after a surgery in New York on the 8th December of 1994.
His life was again full with music, harmony, his favourite (may be?) instruments such as a guitar, flute, piano. He didn’t believe much either in God or in the king this time…only in the power of sounds which transmitted the Divine music to Earth.