Daniel Jobim at WDNA 88.9 FM Miami, Friday
Daniel Jobim, singer, pianist, producer, and the grandson of Antonio Carlos Jobim, made an intimate, low-key appearance at WDNA 88.9 FM, the Miami jazz radio station, Friday. The event, which took place at the station’s gallery and performance area, was presented by WDNA and the recently announced Beachtone Jazz Festival.
Jobim is no piano virtuoso and his voice has a limited range, but that is precisely part of his charm. Bossa nova once proposed a kind of elegant, sophisticated artlessness (check the ironic lyrics of “Desafinado,” Out of Tune, a manifesto of sorts) and Jobim, an unpretentious performer whose singing effortlessly evokes his grandfather’s, suggests the embodiment of the idea.
He went through some of his grandfather’s classics simply and directly, intriguingly often in their English version — perhaps a considerate nod to place and audience. The set included “Samba de Una Nota So,” “So Danço Samba,” “Luiza,” Ligia,” “Corcovado,” “Aguas de Março,” the inevitable “Girl From Ipanema,” and “Chega de Saudade,” the song that might have started all the trouble.
“He brought it to Joao Gilberto, but told him he didn’t think it was that good,” recalled Jobim in one of his brief asides. “But Joao tried it and said ‘No, no it’s good, it’s good’.”
It was the title track of Gilberto’s debut album in 1959 (he also included two other Jobim pieces, “Desafinado” and “Brigas, Nunca Mais”) considered the first bossa nova recording.
Great music and smart lyrics presented simply, without special effects, dancers or auto-tuners at the ready might sound to some like a risky proposition these days — but that’s only true if the songs or the performer are just not good enough.
Daniel Jobim’s no-frills concert Friday suggested not only a tribute to his grandfather’s work but also a celebration of a certain way of performing and sharing music.