Video Pick of the Week: Paulo Bellinati Plays Tom Jobim’s ‘Choro’

By now, Brazilian composer-guitarist Paulo Bellinati’s spry and catchy Jongo (written in 1978) has become practically ubiquitous as a show-stopping program-closer or encore selection for classical guitarists the world over. But Bellinati is also a brilliant interpreter and arranger of others’ music, and have you ever actually heard him play? Here he is performing his fantastic arrangement of Antônio Carlos (“Tom”) Jobim’s Choro, which originally appeared on Jobim’s popular Stone Flower album back in 1970, driven by Jobim’s piano but also including the great American jazz bassist Ron Carter and several others. You can hear that performance below to understand the sorts of choices Bellinati made in devising his solo guitar take on the tune. Bellinati recorded his version of the piece—dubbed Garoto (Choro)—for his 1993 album Serenata: Choros & Waltzes of Brazil on GSP Records. What a wonderful piece!