Charlie Byrd, Herbie Mann, and others brought in bags full of discs from a trip to Brazil in 1961. Stan Getz listened to them and recorded “Desafinado,” which stayed for 70 weeks on the Billboard charts. Since then, no one can deny bossa nova's global appeal and influence upon jazz and world music. While celebrating bossa nova's 50-year presence in the United States, we can learn more about the movement's champion, Jobim, through poet and novelist Helena Jobim's Antonio Carlos Jobim: An Illuminated Man. His personal, intellectual, and professional history comes alive. With a vast, intimate, and revealing set of photographs, and an engaging, elegant and unique prose, this is the story of a true 20th-century's genius. Helena Jobim does justice to her brother's poetic voice. The composer of “Waters of March” read, questioned, and re-created the world he lived in not only through mesmerizing melodies, but also through down-to-earth poetry.
The biography also reveals Antonio Carlos Jobim's serious ecological concerns. To his 400 songs of inexplicable grace he has added his own epigraph in An Illuminated Man: “Every time a tree is cut down here on Earth, I believe it will grow again somewhere else, in another world. So, when I die, it is to this place that I want to go, where forests live in peace.”