:: These reviews were originally published
:: in Daniella Thompson on Brazil.


 

Stone Flower revisited

A rock critic’s Jobinian reverie,
and my own.

Daniella Thompson

27 June 2002


Flor de Pedra (Pachyphytum longitolium)

Like all self-respecting journalists, Wayne Robins publishes a weblog for “cutting out the middle man, offering opinions on pop music, culture, media and society.”

As would be expected from a rock critic, he usually gives us his thoughts on American pop culture. But a recent hospital stay required stress reduction, so Wayne turned to a subset of Brazilian music—that created for gringos in the US.

In Brazilian Reverie, Wayne writes:

Though many of the records Creed Taylor produced for his CTI label in the 1970s came to define all that was wrong with fusion (dissonance between artist and material, between material and arrangement), Antonio Carlos Jobim’s Stone Flower is a significant exception. I don’t have the credits handy, but its both lush and lean, an intelligent, dreamy soundtrack for active meditation.

Stone Flower (1970) is one of Tom Jobim’s most consistent American albums. A collaboration with arranger Eumir Deodato, it is an extension of their work on the soundtrack of The Adventurers, a film about revolutions in South America, directed by Lewis Gilbert with cinematography by Claude Renoir, and starring Charles Aznavour and Candice Bergen.

Three tracks came from the film: “Children’s Games,” “Amparo,” and “God and the Devil in the Land of the Sun.” The first two were later to acquire lyrics and new titles. The waltz “Children’s Games”—a tribute to Debussy that quotes RÍverie and La plus que lente and whose title obliquely refers to the Impressionist composer’s Children’s Corner—is now known as “Chovendo na Roseira” (with Tom’s lyrics; the English version by Gene Lees would become known as “Double Rainbow”), while “Amparo” (the film character played by Leigh Taylor-Young) has turned into “Olha Maria,” with lyrics by Chico Buarque and Vinicius de Moraes.

The new compositions on the disc were the bossa nova “Tereza My Love,” dedicated to the composer’s first wife; “Choro”; the folksy maracatu “Stone Flower”; and the dreamy “Andorinha.” Completing the repertoire are the only sung track—the protest ballad “SabiŠ” (1967)—and two remarkable takes of Ary Barroso’s “Aquarela do Brasil” (1939).

Initially reissued on CD in the CBS Epic Contemporary Jazz Masters series (1990), Stone Flower has been out of print for several years. This year it received a newly remastered edition from Sony CTI Legacy.

My friend B.J. Major, webmistress of the Remembering Antonio Carlos Jobim site (among many others), has a special page devoted to Stone Flower in which you can follow the various editions of the album in scanned covers and liner notes (all by Arnaldo DeSouteiro), including PDF/Adobe Acrobat files of the most recent set of notes and technical info, prepared for the 2000 Japanese reissue.

Mr. DeSouteiro informs that the Japanese release is the only Stone Flower CD reissue with the original 1970 mix by Rudy Van Gelder. All other reissues utilize a mix done by Mark Wilder at Sony Studios in 1987.

Antonio Carlos Jobim: Stone Flower
(Sony CTI Legacy EK 061616; 1970/2002) 42:17 min.

01. Tereza My Love (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
02. Children’s Games [Chovendo na Roseira] (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
03. Choro (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
04. Brazil [Aquarela do Brasil] (Ary Barroso)
05. Stone Flower (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
06. Amparo [Olha Maria] (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Chico Buarque/Vinicius de Moraes)
07. Andorinha (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
08. God and the Devil in the Land of the Sun (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
09. SabiŠ (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Chico Buarque)
10. Brazil [Aquarela do Brasil] (Ary Barroso)—alternate take

Antonio Carlos Jobim: piano, electric piano, guitar, whistle, vocals
Eumir Deodato: guitar, electric piano
Ron Carter: bass
Jo„o Palma: drums
Airto Moreira, Everaldo Ferreira: percussion
Hermeto Pascoal, Jerry Dodgion, Romero Penque: flutes
Joe Farrell: bass flute
Burt Collins, Marvin Stamm: trumpets
Garnett Brown: trombone
Ray Alonge, Joe de Angelis: French horns
Urbie Green: trombone solos
Joe Farrell: soprano sax solo on “God and the Devil”
Hubert Laws: flute solo on “Amparo”
Harry Lookofsky: violin solo on “Stone Flower”
Strings (violins, violas, cellos)
Arranged and conducted by Eumir Deodato
Recorded at Van Gelder Studios, June 1970
Produced by Creed Taylor

 


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