Apr 30, 2014
When a guitarist decides to record an album’s worth of the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim, he had better bring his “A” game. The great Brazilian composer/performer is a towering figure in 20th century jazz, and it seems like everyone worth his or her salt has taken a crack at his deep catalogue of melodious tunes.
The good news is that Les Sabler’s Jobim Tribute, has recognized that the most important ingredient to a great recording of Jobim’s music was to capture the soulful passion inherent in the author’s touching melodies and sensually exotic rhythms. Exclusively playing nylon string acoustic guitar, Sabler creates great intimacy, and takes us deep into tunes both familiar and obscure.
Produced, arranged and performed in acoustic jazz settings, Sabler was accompanied by keyboardist Clay Perry (Julio Iglesias), acoustic bassist Byron House (Robert Plant’s Band of Joy), Brazilian drummer-percussionist Celso Alberti (Flora Purim, Stevie Winwood) and the late percussionist Joe Lala (CSNY, Bee Gees). Allon Sams scripted string arrangements as did Grammy-nominated arranger Tom Zink, who orchestrated a 4-piece string section that recalls the work of Jobim’s long-time collaborator Claus Ogerman without copying them, adding more colors to Sabler’s sonic palette.
Jobim Tribute is Sabler’s seventh album. The Montreal native who studied music at Canada’s Concordia University and at the University of Miami, has created a catalogue of finely-crafted contemporary jazz recordings that summited sales and airplay charts in the U.S. and Canada while garnering award nominations, No. 1 most-played Canadian artist airplay honors and international acclaim.
Podcast 424 is our conversation about how he came to record Jobim’s material, whether he considers himself a singer-guitarist or a guitarist-singer, and his plans for taking the CD on the road. Musical selections from the CD include Les' versions of "Corcovado", "Por Causa de Voce", "Bonita" and "Chega de Saudade."