|A DAY in new york
[Jin Nakahara comments on A Day In New York tracks]
This was co-written by Jobim and the pianist Newton Mendonca, who died young. It was recorded by Joao Gilberto as a follow-up single in 1958. The lyric ("You say I'm out of tune (desafinado) ...but it's the bossa nova and very natural...") contains the first mention of the term "bossa nova"; borrowing its form from love songs, it makes the case for a new musical sound. The wit and taste in the lyric, the complex yet elegant harmony, and the smart and polished rhythmic feel all contribute to making this the essential bossa nova song, an epoch-making masterpiece.
2. Bim Bom
This was written by Joao Gilberto, the creator who established the bossa nova sound through his voice and guitar. Recorded in 1958, it was the B-side of his first single "Chega de Saudade" ("No More Blues"). The lyric is very short - " Bim bom bim bom, my Baiao is only this, nothing else. Just what my heart begs for - bim bom bim bom" and perfectly expresses the aesthetic of simplicity that is the basis of bossa nova. Baiao is the representative rhythm of the northeast region of Brazil that includes Gilberto's home state of Bahia.
The song was written by Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes, and the title means "insensitive, thoughtless." It's also known by it's English title, "How Insensitive.' When performing this piece in the M2S concerts, Sakamoto illustrated its relationship to Chopin's Preludes. Although it is one of the classic bossa nova songs composed by Jobim, it is also a work that directly shows its classical background. Track No. 16, included as a bonus track, is a "re-model by alva noto" recording of this song.
4. Coracao Vagabundo
Caetano Veloso wrote the words and music of this homage to bossa nova, released in 1967 on his first album. Jobim had a high regard for this song, as is stated on page Helena Jobim's book Antonio Carlos Jobim - The Man Who Started bossa nova (available only in Portugese and Japanese). Joao Gilberto has included this song on the newly released Joao, Voice and Guitar produced by Caetano. Incidentally, it was Caetano who was the matchmaker that introduced Sakamoto and Jaques Morelenbaum to each other. They had played on different tracks of Caetano's 1991" Circulado" album; when Caetano performed in New York Jaques was in his band, and the occasion brought about a pre-destined meeting of the two.
5. Falando de Amor (Love Talk)
Words and music by Jobim, this is a love song first released on a duet album with Miucha (Gilberto's former wife). The term "choro" that appears several times in the lyric refers to Brazil's oldest urban popular music, a style that has its roots in European salon music; it, too, is one of the elements that shape the backdrop of Jobim's music. Before M2S was formed, Sakamoto recorded this song with the Morelenbaums and their daughter, on the live disc In The Lobby (2000).
6. Chora Coracao
A song of unrequited love that pleads, "weep, my heart." Of the many songs Jobim and Vinicius wrote together, this one has a particularly strong chamber music feel, and there are very few recordings of it. On the 1994 album Antonio Brasileiro, which ended up being posthumous, Jobim recorded this as a trio with the Morelenbaums. On this version, Sakamoto gives Jobim a place as an heir to the musical lineage extending from Chopin and Debussy.
This song, written by Jobim and Chico Buarque has the Sabia (a small bird of the thrush family) as its theme and is an abundantly sentimental depiction of a love of nature and the saudade of missing Brazil. It won first prize in the International Song Festival in 1968. Sakamoto, who says that this is his "favorite Jobim composition," has included it here again after recording it on Casa as well. With his impressionistic approach he throws light on this famous song from a new angle, placing in relief the "family tree of music"
8. Tango (Versao em Portugues)
A Sakamoto composition. The original version, recorded on Smoochy (1995), on which Jaques played, was also colored by a subtle aesthetic sense that is akin to European Bossa, For this version, however, Paula has written new words in Portuguese that keep the nuance of the original lyrics (by Taeko Onuki) and raise the Brazilian temperature of the song.
9. Chega de Saudade
Written by Jobim and Vinicius. It was originally written as a samba cancao (romantic samba) rooted in the choro style, but when Joao Gilberto recorded it in 1958 it became Page One in the history of the new music called bossa nova. Since then, singers and musicians all over the word have recorded this song. At Brazilian concerts, audiences burst into applause when this song begins.
10. Samba do Aviao (Jet Plane Samba)
Rio de Janeiro is the hometown of Jobim and of bossa nova. This song captures the beautiful view of Rio from the window of an airplane. The words of the intro are Jobim, who disliked flying, praying to God for a safe landing. At the end, the plane lands to the samba beat, but at this point in M2S's performance, as you can hear there is a fun idea waiting that will make you grin. The formal name of the present international airport in Rio, by the way, is Antonio Carlos Jobim Airport.
11. Tema para Ana
This is a bonus track for the Japanese release, and the tracks from here to Track 15 are re-recordings of songs recorded for Casa. The song is a little piece Jobim dedicated to the devoted wife with whom he spent his last 15 years. There was no formal recording of it; it was first released posthumously in 1995 on Antonio Carlos Jobim Songbook / Instrumental, from a cassette recording of solo piano.
12. Fotografia (Photograph)
Although it is easily overlooked in the shadow of his being a "great composer," the fact is that from the beginning of his career Jobim was also an outstanding poet. This is a gem that brings to mind a scene from a film; the setting is by the sea at dusk, and it is a double exposure of a couple's feelings. M2S follow the duet version that Jobim did with Nara Leao.
13. Vivo Sonhando
Both the words and music are by Jobim on this one as well; it was sent out into the world with Joao Gilberto's voice on Getz/Gilberto (1963). It's a love song about "living in a dream." Here Sakamoto discretely cuddles up to the happily married Jaques and Paula with affection... one can glimpse the wonderful relationship the three have.
14. Amor Em Paz (Peaceful Love)
Written with Vinicius, this is a standard from the golden age of bossa nova. In common with the performance of "Insensatez," which was written at practically the same time (the beginning of the 1960's), this performance has a classical air to it, and even more so than on Casa, the intimacy of the dialogue between Sakamoto and Jaques is as if they were brothers.
15. As Praias Desertas
Jobim wrote both words and music for this song, which was recorded by Elizete Cardoso in 1958 on the eve of the birth of bossa nova. Since the 60's it has slept in the shadows of bossa nova, with few opportunities to be included on other recordings. Resurrected because of the Morelenbaums' love of it, it was recorded as the first track on the Casa album. For the approximately two years since then, the song and its performances by M2S have been honed and become increasingly polished, telling the tale of M2S's deepening eloquence.
16. Insensatez / re-model by alva noto
JIN NAKAHARA (Music Producer/Radio Program Producer/Critic) / Japan