Here's a recording that needs no introduction or persuasion of any kind. The
legendary Elis & Tom, recorded 30 years ago, is on every Brazilian
music lover's desert-island list, often in the number-one position.
The story of the recording
is also well known. In 1974, Elis celebrated ten years at Phonogram (Philips'
record division). She had been very good for the record company, and her reward
was a trip to Los Angeles, to record with Tom Jobim.
On 2 February 1974, Elis
and then-husband Cesar Camargo Mariano flew to LA. With them came Elis' son
João Marcello Bôscoli (now president of Trama), producer Aloysio
de Oliveira (the eternal mediator between Brazil and USA), and musicians Hélio
Delmiro (guitar), Luizão (bass), and Paulo Braga (drums).
The recordings took place
between 22 February and 9 March. Tom wasn't enamored of the idea of Cesar
writing the arrangements and playing electric piano, but he put up with both,
although he would have preferred Claus Ogerman and acoustic piano.
Aloysio saw to it that
Elis and Tom got through the recording sessions without walking out or sending
each other to hell.
Among the musicians who
participated in the recordings without being given credit in the original
LP were guitarist Oscar Castro Neves, flutist Hubert Laws, and saxofonist
Jerome Richardson, as well as the now forgotten session stringstwo
violins, two violas, a cello and a bass.
Thirty years later, Cesar
Camargo Mariano spent three months remixing the epocal 8-track tapes in both
stereo and 5.1 surround sound. The new edition includes a stereo CD and a
DVD-Audio. In content they are identical, with the exception of a bonus of
"Fotografia" (alternate take) and "Bonita"available,
disappointingly, only on the DVD.
And there's the rub: to
buy or not to buy?
Most of us already have
a serviceable copy of Elis & Tom. Whether most of us have a DVD
player with 5.1 surround-sound speakers I can't say. I don't. The only DVD
player (rarely used, I might add) in my possession resides on my trusty old
Mac G4 Cube. It plays only DVD-Video.
That leaves the CD, whose
sound is nothing short of glorious. Glorious, but without the bonus recordings.
It's one of those irritating marketing ploys. How many people (not counting
the diehard Elis fans, of whom there must be several legions) will want to
pay for a DVD-CD combo when their equipment is capable of playing only the
CD (glorious sound and all)?
It's wonderful to know
that a superior version is available. But until the rest of us are sufficiently
equipped, Philips and Trama would be well advised to bring out a stand-alone
CD that includes the bonus track.
The good news is that
Trama is currently hard at work on the DVD-Video edition of Elis &
Tom. That disc promises to feature films from various sources.
Elis Regina & Antonio
Carlos Jobim: Elis & Tom
Special Edition including DVD-Audio & CD
(Philips/Trama 874-5; 2004) CD: 41:42 min.; DVD: 49:25 min.
01. Águas de Março
(Antonio Carlos Jobim)
02. Pois É (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Chico Buarque)
03. Só Tinha que Ser com Você (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Aloysio de
04. Modinha (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Vinicius de Moraes)
05. Triste (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
06. Corcovado (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
07. O que Tinha que Ser (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Vinicius de Moraes)
08. Retrato em Branco e Preto (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Chico Buarque)
09. Brigas, Nunca Mais (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Vinicius de Moraes)
10. Por Toda a Minha Vida (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Vinicius de Moraes)
11. Fotografia (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
12. Soneto de Separação (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Vinicius de Moraes)
13. Chovendo na Roseira (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
14. Inútil Paisagem (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Aloysio de Oliveira)
Fotografia (Antonio Carlos Jobim) alternate version
Bonita (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
The writer publishes the online magazine of Brazilian music and culture
Daniella Thompson on Brazil and the website Musica
Brasiliensis - http://www.daniellathompson.com
- where she can be contacted.
© 2004 Daniella Thompson. All rights reserved.