Catching the Wave

Catching the Wave
Antonio Carlos Jobim: Wave

Well it is that time of year again. Winter blahs. Even with the pathetic warm winters that NYC has been serving up lately, February finds me lusting for sun and hammock. There are things about this album that works to cure these ills for an hour. First of all I love the cover. It was taken by Pete Turner, a fellow RIT alum who recently put out a book of his Jazz record cover photography. Turner shot a lot of timeless covers and this one is one of his most evocative. The second thing is that it is produced in 1967 by Creed Taylor – the founding father of the 60s bossa nova explosion. It sounds fantastic. This is V.S.O.P. bossa. Then there is the actual music. It is the rare combo of lush orchestral lounge cheese and subtle songcraft that makes me think of international airports back when air travel was still sexy. This is not elevator music but it gets close enough to scare the casual listener. The thing is, this would not work in a department store. Jobim’s music is not particularly happy. This is not Jimmy Buffet-esque ‘tropical party music’. When I listen to this record I think of a more lonely, sophisticated hot place. This is a Graham Greene novel not an MTV beach party. Now if i could just find this place on the map!

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