1st August 2008
One of the most distinctive and refined guitar stylists of the past 30 years as well as a singular interpreter of bossa nova standards, international recording artist Toninho Horta is widely regarded as the classic triple threat -- an accomplished composer, profoundly skilled instrumentalist and uncannily expressive vocalist. But on To Jobim With Love, he reveals yet another aspect of his deep musicality, that of arranger-conductor of a full orchestra of strings, brass, woodwinds and a vocal chorus.
A soul-stirring addition to his expansive discography, To Jobim With Love is a heartfelt tribute to the man whose name is synonymous with bossa nova. It features guest appearances by such renowned Brazilian musicians as vocalist and frequent Jobim collaborator Gal Costa, percussionist Manolo Badrena, drummer Paulo Braga and electric bassist Sergio Brandao along with American jazz musicians Dave Kikoski on piano, Bob Mintzer on tenor sax, Gary Peacock on acoustic bass and William Galison on harmonica.
Together they turn in alluring renditions of Jobim classics like the funky and oft-covered “Agua de Beber,” the melodically memorable “Desfinado,” the hauntingly romantic “If Everyone Was Like You” and the vibrant and upbeat "No More Blues" ("Chega de Saudade"), the tune that launched the bossa nova movement in Rio de Janeiro 50 years ago. Kikoski contributes potent piano solos on Jobim‘s "Portrait in Black and White," "Infinite Love" and "No More Blues" while harmonica ace Galison conjures up comparisons to Toots Thielemans on "Desfinado" and "Meditation" as well as two affecting Horta originals -- the upbeat and buoyantly grooving "Christiana" and the dreamy Jobim tribute, "From Ton to Tom." Saxophonist Mintzer makes solid solo contributions to the soothing "Promises I Made," the lush "If Everyone Was Like You" and the jaunty "No More Blues." Bassist Peacock, who performed with Horta and drummer Billy Higgins on a brilliant but overlooked 1993 recording on Verve, Once I Loved, offers fundamental support along with an expressive bass solo at the intro to "No More Blues."
Throughout the recording, Horta demonstrates his dazzling six-string skills and his longstanding colleague and collaborator Costa imbues three songs -- “From Ton To Tom,” “No More Blues” and spare vocal-guitar duet on “Modinha” -- with her vivacious Brazilian soul. Several family members, including Luisa Schivavon Horta, Claudia Horta, Perla Horta, and Paulo Horta also take part in this sprawling production.
Recorded in New York City and in various studios throughout Brazil, To Jobim With Love stands as a crowning achievement in the career of the Belo Horizonte-born guitarist, whose lyrical, warm-toned legato flow on the instrument is often compared to Pat Metheny‘s. In fact, Metheny was an early advocate of Toninho‘s, appearing on his 1989 album Moonstone and writing the liner notes for 1990‘s Diamond Land (which also featured saxophonist and early Milton Nascimento collaborator, Wayne Shorter). Metheny continues to champion Horta in interviews and support his kindred spirit from Minas Gerais.
Toninho Horta - TO JOBIM WITH LOVE
Resonance/Heirloom HCD 2004
Release date: September 9, 2008