Anyone who loves music, particularly great songs, probably remembers the moment he first listened to "The Girl From Ipanema" or "Desafinado". For me it was something like the summer of 1962. As a teenager, and fledgling musician, I was in orbit around the music of Motown, The Beatles and Chicago radio Jazz DJ Sid McCoy.
Then I heard the composer Jobim, and I found a part of myself. The mysteries of the long shaped melodies, and the complex harmonic structures completely resonated in me. Pretty much everything I ever composed, or enjoyed listening to ever since had some root in that moment of discovery.
Years passed and I made my mark as a musician, and for perhaps emotional and spiritual reasons, in the early '90's, I began listening again to ALL of Jobim's body of work. Only now I was much more equipped to recognize qualities that I could not grasp when I was a kid.
I also embarked on casual explorations of all Brazilian Music from the 1950's forward. This included reading as much as I could find, in English, about Jobim's development, his history, his life.
There was puzzlingly little about the man himself, his personal challenges, demons, triumphs. What was he thinking about? Obviously, we'll never know.
Then came my discovery, on the internet, of Antonio Carlos Jobim: Um Homem Iluminado, by Helena Jobim. (Available in Portuguese, and perhaps, Japanese, but not English).
What precious nuggets of insight lay frustratingly out of my ignorant reach?
In my reading internet articles, I had come across the learned and entertaining writing of Professor Dario Borim, who shared a love of music and particularly Jobim, with me. I took a chance and wrote to him, and thus began a labor of love to bring the charming memoir to a huge population of English reading music lovers. Mr. Borim took time from his busy activities as a teacher, writer, Radio personality and took on the translation. I am forever grateful to him.