…of Social Intelligence
Who is Tom and what does Social Intelligence have to do with music?
Social IQ is a character strength often literally worth its weight in gold. People with high Social Intelligence exhibit deep emotional understanding of others, which often leads to great success in cooperative work. For a musician, the ability to work with others can lead to powerful productive partnerships — as it clearly did for Tom.
We recently saw a documentary on his life and music that demonstrated his ability to draw many others to him and make them want to stay in long working/personal relationships with this man who loved life and people.
Who are we talking about? Antonio Carlos Jobim (1927-1994), called Tom by nearly everybody who knew him. He wrote many classic songs you will instantly recognize. Sometimes called the George Gershwin of Brazil, he invigorated the whole jazz and pop repertoire with his irresistible bossa nova and samba music.
In the course of his career he worked closely with many musicians and inspired countless others. All this flowed from his natural gift for creating a warm web of interconnected relationships with family, friends, and colleagues in the three places he called home: Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian countryside, and New York City.
We think you can best understand what we mean just by listening to the music he wrote–often with others and often played and sung by his own extended family. Our most cherished Jobim album is WAVE: THE ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM SONGBOOK on the Verve label with fifteen tracks of musical delights featuring Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, Wes Montgomery, Oscar Peterson, and Sarah Vaughan, among others. The comment on the flip side of the CD jewel case is telling:
They range geographically from the tip of Brazil to the province of Quebec; they appear
in intimate duets, in frail voice,and in string orchestras with a clutch of woodwinds.
Appearing in every type of ensemble, playing in all styles throughout the Western hemisphere
and beyond–this is how diverse Antonio Carlos Jobim’s interpreters are and how far and
wide his music has spread.
Here we offer you three gems from the Verve album (click on the links to listen):
Stan Getz on tenor saxophone performing “Desafinado” with Charlie Byrd playing lead guitar, which you can listen to by clicking here;
Dizzy Gillespie playing “One Note Samba” here;
and – in an act of role reversal – Sarah Vaughan’s highly suggestive rendition of the great Jobim hit, ” “The Girl from Ipanema”–renamed here “The Boy from Ipanema.”
Myth and the power of song were the underpinnings of Jobim’s rise to international fame. Together with Luiz Bonfa and singer Joao Gilberto, he composed the bossa nova sound track for the movie Black Orpheus, the winner of the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1959. Set in Rio de Janeiero during carnival season, the movie features Orpheus as a trolley car conductor and Euridice as a girl from the country visiting her cousin in the big city. Amidst all the gaiety, their love is doomed by the specter of death.
Three songs from the movie are standouts: Bonfa’s “Manha de Carnaval“; and Jobim’s “O Nossa Amor,” used as unifying refrains and presented in a variety of settings, and “Frevo,” during which Euridice first glimpses the mocking face of death.
We could not omit also bringing you a very special version of Manha de Carnaval.