Antonio Carlos Jobim: God and the Devil in the Land of the Sun


God and the Devil in the Land of the Sun


Antonio Carlos Jobim (piano, composer)


Stone Flower (Epic/Legacy EK 61616)

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Antonio Carlos Jobim (piano, composer), Urbie Green (trombone), Hubert Laws (flute), Ron Carter (bass), Eumir Deodato (guitar), Airto Moreira (percussion),

Joe Farrell (soprano sax), Everaldo Ferriera (percussion), Joao Palm (percussion, drums)


Composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, May 16-22, 1970


Rating: 80/100 (learn more)

Atypical experimentalism rules Antonio Carlos Jobim's "God and the Devil in the Land of the Sun." The hippie-minded expansiveness mirrors most of the commercial music of the period and even some of the less commercial ruminations by cult artists like Soft Machine.

While Jobim is better known as a purveyor of Bossa Nova, this track could easily be mistaken for either Jefferson Airplane's "Chushingura" (from Crown of Creation) or anything by saxophonist Rashaan Roland Kirk, for there isn't a Brazilian bone in this composition's body. Easily classified as avant-garde, the tune finds some big-band flavor in its instrumental choices that include a clarinet that sounds more indebted to John Coltrane than Benny Goodman. Ravi Shankar-like sitar swirls push the cut in the direction of Indian raga, while the tune is completely psychedelicized in a stereotypical fashion that typifies most of what was released in the jazz world immediately following Miles Davis' Bitches Brew.

At best, the track expands Jobim's musical palette slightly, but it will be fairly obvious to anyone that the spiritual mantra sounds much less original than what the producers intended. This track ultimately struggles to develop an identity of its own, settling for a foray not into the land of the sun but into the finality of diminishing returns.

Reviewer: Marcus Singletary

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