In some ways, this is a strategic retreat for Antonio Carlos Jobim after the classical departures of the '70s – a retrospective of past triumphs, including some of the most trod-upon standards ("Ipanema," "Desafinado," "One-Note Samba," etc.), with Claus Ogerman again at hand. But these are thoughtful retoolings, some subtle, some radical, ranging in backing from a lonely piano to elaborate yet sensitive Ogerman orchestral flights that cram more complexity than ever into the spaces (listen to his beguilingly involved take on "Double Rainbow") with only a few overbearing faux pas. Jobim's own vocals sound increasingly casual in temperament as he serves them up in an unpredictable mixture of Portuguese, English and scat. And there is much unfamiliar material here, often dressed up in a brooding classical manner.
Packaged in a special box set to celebrate Jobim's artistry as well as the 50th anniversary of the bossa nova, this set includes five original albums: Caymmi Visita Tom, Matita Perê (aka Jobim), Elis & Tom, Edu & Tom/Tom & Edu, Garota de Ipanema - Original Soundtrack …plus 3 new compilation albums entitled "Tom Feminino" (recordings by female singers) and "Tom Masculino" (recordings by male singers and musicians) - as well as "Tom Pra Dois" (duos).