Antônio "Tom" Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim
(January 25, 1927 – December 8, 1994), also known as Tom Jobim
(Portuguese pronunciation: ['tõ ?o'bi\]), 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.Widely known as the composer of "Garota de Ipanema" (The Girl from Ipanema), one of the most recorded songs of all time, Jobim has left a large number of songs that are today included in jazz and pop standard repertoires.
Antônio 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 Antônio was still an infant, his parents separated and his mother, Nilza Brasileiro de Almeida (c. 1910 - November 17, 1989), moved with her children (Antônio 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'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, 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" ("If Everyone Were Like You"). 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.
Jobim was married to Thereza Otero Hermanny on October 15, 1949 and had two children with her: Paulo Jobim (born 1950), an architect and musician, married and father of Daniel Jobim (born 1973) and Dora Jobim (born 1976); and Elizabeth "Beth" Jobim (born 1957), a painter. Jobim and Thereza divorced in 1978. On April 30, 1986 he married 29-year old photographer Ana Beatriz Lontra, with whom he had two more children: João Francisco Jobim (1979–1998) and Maria Luiza Helena Jobim (born 1987). Daniel; Paulo's son, Tom's grandson; followed his grandfather to become 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 on his album Tom Jobim
. After receiving a message allegedly coming from Frederik von Stein, a dead German doctor, who recommended not having the surgery, Jobim decided to stop listening to the spiritual guidance and have the surgery instead. His operation took place at 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. He was survived by his children and grandchildren. His last album, Antonio Brasileiro
, was released posthumously 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.
Jobim is considered to be one of the most important songwriters of the 20th century. Many of Jobim's songs are jazz standards. American jazz singers Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra prominently featured Jobim's songs on their albums Ella Abraça Jobim
(1981), and Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim
(1967), respectively. The 1996 CD Wave: The Antonio Carlos Jobim Songbook
included performances of Jobim tunes by Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, and Toots Thielemans. Jobim was an innovator in the use of sophisticated harmonic structures in popular song. Some of his melodic twists, like the melody insisting on the major seventh of the chord, became common use in Jazz and easy listening music after him. The Brazilian collaborators and interpreters of Jobim's music include Vinícius de Moraes, João Gilberto (often credited as a co-creator of bossa nova), Chico Buarque, Gal Costa, Elis Regina, Sérgio Mendes, Astrud Gilberto, and Flora Purim. Eumir Deodato and the conductor/composer Claus Ogerman arranged many recordings of Jobim tunes. He won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 54th Grammy Awards. As a posthumous homage, on January 5, 1999 the Municipality of Rio de Janeiro changed the name of Rio's Galeão International Airport, located on Governador Island, to bear the composer's name. Galeão Airport is explicitly mentioned in his composition "Samba do Avião."