NYU Black Renaissance Noire Spring 2015 - Page 70

By ANTHONY WALTON HOMAGE TO ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM What to make of a man so cool he chain-smoked through the middle of the warmest Brazilian afternoons? A man who spoke-when he spoke- so softly the entire city would stopwhen he had something to say, the One Note Samba, say, or Desifinado, it would be as if the melody were conducting a clinic in the essentials of understatement: if you want to be cool, the songs seemed to say, if you want to create the wind, you need a good white suit, Raybans, a sharp but simple haircut, a mestizo, a mulatto imagination along with good-hearted irony and the calibrated understanding of how in alchemy the simple and the delicate can blend into the indestructibleWhen he played, the tropics played with him- the trees and the breeze blew softly, gently, cool, from Rio, from Bahia, from the dark and rainy forest; he said “ah” and the whole world shivered 68 with him, all over the world BRN-SPRING-2015.indb 68 3/29/15 11:41 AM