"Águas de Março (The Waters of March)" by Antônio Carlos Jobim & Elis Regina
Strong SongsMarch 22, 2024x
00:56:2251.61 MB

"Águas de Março (The Waters of March)" by Antônio Carlos Jobim & Elis Regina

Kirk digs into the work of master composer Antônio Carlos Jobim via his timeless 1974 duet with Elis Regina on his song "Águas de Marçco," known Stateside as "The Waters of March." He's joined by special guest Frederico Barros, Professor of Musicology at Federal University of Rio De Janeiro.

Written by: Antônio Carlos Jobim

Performed by: Jobim and Elis Regina

Album: Elis & Tom (1974)

Listen/Buy via Songwhip


  • "The Girl From Ipamena" and "Desefinado" by Tom Jobim from Getz/Gilberto, 1964
  • "Corcovado (Quiet Night of Quiet Stars)," "Triste," and "Bigras Nunca Mais" by Jobim from Elis & Tom, 1974 and Getz/Gilberto, 1964
  • "Felicidade" by Jobim recorded by Vince Maggio and Mark Colby from Reunion, 1999
  • Chega de Saudade by Jobim as recorded by the Dizzy Gillespie Sextet


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Fred's Brazilian music playlist on Spotify and YouTube Music (Notes on each song further down)


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Robyn Metcalfe
Brian Templet
Bob Tucker
Corpus Frisky
Ben Barron
Catherine Warner
Damon White
Kaya Woodall
Jay Swartz
Miriam Joy
Daniel Hannon-Barry
Christopher Miller
Jamie White
Christopher McConnell
David Mascetti
Joe Laska
Ken Hirsh
Melanie Andrich
Jenness Gardner
Dave Sharpe
Sami Samhuri
Jeremy Dawson
Andre Bremer
Dave Florey


Lauren Knotts
Dave Kolas
Henry Mindlin
Monica St. Angelo
Stephen Wolkwitz
Rand LeShay
eric sp
Matthew Jones
Anthony Mentz
James McMurry
Ethan Laser
Brian John Peter
Chris Remo
Matt Schoenthal
Aaron Wilson
Dent Earl
Carlos Lerner
Misty Haisfield
Abraham Benrubi
Christopher Bruno
Chris Kotarba
Callum Webb
Lynda MacNeil
Dick Morgan
Ben Stein
Susan Green
Sean Murphy
Alan Brough
Randal Vegter
Go Birds!
Robert Granat
dave malloy
Nick Galloway
Heather J
john halpin
Peter Harding
John Bauman
Martín Salías
Stu Baker
Steve Martino
Dr Arthur A Gray
Gary Pierce
Matt Baxter
Luigi Boccia
E Margaret Warton
Charles McGee
Catherine Clause
Ethan Bauman
Jordan Block
Aaron Wade
Jeff Ulm
David Futter
Portland Eye Care
Carrie Schneider
Richard Sneddon
Doreen Carlson
David McDarby
Wendy Gilchrist
Elliot Rosen
Lisa Turner
Paul Wayper
Bruno Gaeta
Kenneth Jung
Adam Stofsky
Zak Remer
Rishi Sahay
Jason Reitman
Ailie Fraser
Rob Tsuk
Josh Singer
Amy Lynn Thornsen
Adam W
Kelli Brockington
Victoria Yu
mino capossela
Steve Paquin
David Joske
Bernard Khoo
Robert Heuer
David Noah
Geraldine Butler
Madeleine Mader
Jason Pratt
Abbie Berg
Doug Belew
Dermot Crowley
Achint Srivastava
Ryan Rairigh
Michael Berman
Linda Duffy
Bonnie Prinsen
Liz Seger
Eoin de Burca
Kevin Potter
M Shane Borders
Dallas Hockley
Jason Gerry
Nathan Gouwens
Lauren Reay
Eric Prestemon
Damian Brady
Angela Livingstone
Sarah Sulan
Diane Hughes
Michael Casner
Lowell Meyer
Stephen Tsoneff
Joshua Hill
Geoff Golden
Pascal Rueger
Randy Souza
Clare Holberton
Diane Turner
Tom Coleman
Dhu Wik
Mel D
Eric Helm
Jonathan Daniels
Michael Flaherty
Caro Field
michael bochner
Naomi Watson
David Cushman
Chris K
Gavin Doig
Sam Fenn
Tanner Morton
AJ Schuster
Jennifer Bush
David Stroud
Brad Callahan
Amanda Furlotti
Andrew Baker
Andrew Fair
L.B. Morse
Bill Thornton
Brian Amoebas
Brett Douville
Jeffrey Olson
Matt Betzel
Nate from Kalamazoo
Melanie Stivers
Richard Toller
Alexander Polson
Earl Lozada
Justin McElroy
Arjun Sharma
James Johnson
Kevin Morrell
Colin Hodo



  • 1 x 0 - traditional choro, Pixinguinha playing sax and sort of inventing “Brazilian counterpoint” - in the second part of this piece, when it modulates to G major, you’ll hear the sax play a rhythmic figure important to Aquarela do Brasil (see below);
  • Espinha de Bacalhau - choro, played by an orchestra that was created with the aim of playing Brazilian music in the manner of American Big Bands;
  • O Relógio da Vovó - the Trio Surdina was comprised of musicians who worked at the Radio Nacional (where Jobim would also work as an arranger) and whose compositions and way of playing were fundamental to the development of “modern” Brazilian music - yes, Desafinado!;
  • Aquarela Brasileira - Radamés Gnattali was an arranger at Radio Nacional and this arrangement of Ary Barroso’s Aquarela do Brasil is kind of an inflexion point - the story is (always) more complicated, but the TL;DR is its importance lies in the use of samba rhythm in the orchestral parts, not only in the percussion section, as was previously usual (attention to the long notes in the melody accompanied by the same chromatic figure played by the tenor sax in 1 x 0 above);
  • Copacabana - there are two versions of the song here, both sung by Dick Farney (Sinatra’s influence on him is pretty clear). The first one was arranged by Radamés Gnattali and was a huge hit at the turn of the 1940s to the 50s. The song is kind of a symbol of the stylistic change from live music in cassinos (closed by the government in 1948) to small clubs in Copacabana where Bossa Nova and Samba-jazz would eventually be born;
  • Copacabana (second version) - also sung by Dick Farney, but recorded much later (couldn’t find the exact date) now in complete Bossa style - I thought it could be interesting to be able to compare both versions;
  • Chega de Saudade - João Gilberto’s 1959 recording of Chega de Saudade. Considered by practically everyone interested in music at that time as sounding absolutely novel and unprecedented: the singing, the lyrics, the arrangement, the guitar playing. Kind of Bossa Nova’s inaugural moment, the song has kind of a choro form and I once saw Jobim say in an interview that he had the idea when he saw his mother’s housemaid singing the choro Sonoroso and he thought something like “well, it seems people can remember a long melody and all these lyrics, after all…”;
  • Chega de Saudade - following the commentary I made about Chega de Saudade and the choro, here a 1963 version - right in the period where it was all happening - by the old-school mandolinist Jacob do Bandolim;
  • Estamos Aí - sung here by Leny Andrade in her debut album, totally positioned as “Modern Popular Music”, as they would define it, it shows very clearly the new style that was emerging - the whole scat singing section in the middle is really pointing to jazz and the lyrics talk about Bossa Nova itself;
  • Rapaz de Bem - Johnny Alf is one of the unsung heroes and precursor of Bossa Nova: the singing, the harmonic language, the compositional aesthetics… it was all there;
  • Embalo - a typical example of what was called samba-jazz back then;
  • Influência do Jazz - by one of the early Bossa Nova composers, Carlos Lyra, the song talks about how samba was influenced by jazz in a somewhat ambivalent manner and has acquired sort of a symbolic, manifesto-like status - we hear a younger Elis Regina singing it here, in the famous program/series O Fino da Bossa;
  • Preconceito - two versions, first Orlando Silva’s old school version (1941), then João Gilberto singing the same song years later (2003) and doing his thing;
  • Aos Pés da Cruz - one of the classic João Gilberto recordings. I added it to the playlist just because it’s so beautiful;
  • Elis’ first recording of Águas de Março is interesting because the guitar “levada” is sort of middle ground between the “modern samba” that will be so characteristic of her band’s playing and the more subdivided earlier style of playing samba;
  • Coisa N. 1 - Moacir Santos was also an arranger (they were called maestros, actually) at Rádio Nacional, where Jobim, Radamés, the Trio Surdina guys and many other important musicians worked. Moacir was the only black maestro of the time and had studied with classically-trained composers like Guerra-Peixe (also a maestro at Rádio Nacional) and H. J. Koellreutter (German composer who fled Germany during the rise of the Nazis and is credited as having introduced dodecaphonism in Brazil). He wrote the “Coisas” (Things) and numbered them as if they were “Opus 1”, “Opus 2” etc. Moacir is an entire chapter in itself and unfortunately one can’t find the original 1966 recording of the Coisas on Spotify, which used practically all important “modern” musicians living in Rio de Janeiro at the time. This recording was made in 2001 with Moacir’s approval and is true to the original arrangement, though the solos were improvised by the musicians;
  • O Mestre Sala dos Mares - written by Elis’ contemporaries João Bosco and Aldir Blanc, we first listen to Bosco’s recording of this samba, more in the traditional style, with percussion, cavaquinho, 7-string guitar and all, and then Elis’ version with most of the band that recorded Elis & Tom - sorry for insisting with the comparison thing, but I think it’s instructive and it takes a lot of examples to start grasping some subtleties;
  • É Com Esse Que Eu Vou - first listen to Elis’ version and then the traditional one. This is carnival music, really, and they did this wonderful modern, samba-jazzy version;
  • Como Nossos Pais - another, arguably as important, side of Elis. From 1976, this is perhaps her most famous recording and serves here to show that her repertoire was considerably wider than samba. People get really moved by this recording (understandably, at least to my Brazilian ears) and despite the stylistic differences, this is also the same core band we hear in Elis & Tom.