Bossa nova, translated, literally means “new trend.” And as 1964 began, with the British Invasion taking flight, America was also experiencing a Brazilian Invasion thanks to this new trend in popular music and jazz. Identified by gentle acoustic guitar and sometimes piano, and often adorned with subtle string or horn accents, bossa nova was based on the rhythms of the samba. It soon was adapted on stages from the concert hall to Broadway, spawned the “lounge” genre and influenced countless musicians across the genre divide. But the album that started the American bossa nova craze was undisputedly Getz/Gilberto, a Verve LP produced by Creed Taylor and featuring Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto with notable cameos by Gilberto’s young wife Astrud. Getz/Gilberto has remained in print since its initial release and has been issued in nearly every format conceivable, including SACD. Analogue Productions (the label responsible for the amazing Nat “King” Cole multichannel discs) will reissue Getz/Gilberto yet again on SACD on June 14, but with a difference. According to Analogue, “the original master tapes for this title had not been used since 1980 previous to this reissue. Also, for this Analogue Productions reissue the decision was made to master and present this album as it was originally mixed to master tape. With only one exception – the [Kevin Gray-mastered LP] Speakers Corner reissue – all versions of this title to date have had the channels incorrectly reversed.” (This is quickly distinguishable by Astrud Gilberto’s vocal on the seminal “The Girl from Ipanema” coming from the left channel.)
Getz/Gilberto was an instant sensation. Tenor saxophonist Getz was accompanied by Joao Gilberto on guitar and vocals, Sebastiao Neto on bass, Milton Banana on drums and the man most closely associated with bossa nova, Antonio Carlos Jobim, on piano. Born in 1927, Jobim was one of the composers (primarily with Luis Bonfa) of the 1959 film Black Orpheus, credited with introducing bossa nova to a wider audience despite its harsher, more percussion-driven style on the film soundtrack. Jobim’s association with Black Orpheus actually dated back to 1956 when he and Vinicius de Moraes supplied music, including the song “Someone to Light Up My Life,” for the original stage play. Stan Getz had discovered the new sound on a trip to Brazil, and in 1962 released Jazz Samba, a collaboration with Charlie Byrd that is recognized as the first major American album in the style. Creed Taylor was in the producer’s chair for this auspicious collection. Two Jobim songs were heard on Jazz Samba, “Desafinado” and “One Note Samba.” He teamed with Bonfa for Jazz Samba Encore! in 1963 with three Jobim compositions, “I Only Dance Samba,” “How Insensitive” and “O Morro Não Tem Vez.” Getz was poised for a breakthrough when he teamed with Joao Gilberto for Getz/Gilberto.
Hit the jump for more on this jazz classic including the track listing, discographical info and pre-order link!
A full six of the eight tracks were Jobim’s this times, including “Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars),” with English lyrics by Gene Lees, a reprise of “Só danço samba (I Only Dance Samba)” and the song that virtually became bossa nova’s national anthem, “Garota de Ipanema” or The Girl from Ipanema” in Norman Gimbel’s translation. Jobim and de Moraes had written the song in 1962, and Pery Ribeiro was the first to record it. Astrud Gilberto’s breathy, untrained and sensual vocals, however, brought it to a new place entirely, complementing Getz’s smoky saxophone riffs. Getz/Gilberto cleaned up at the 1965 Grammy Awards, taking home the gold for Album of the Year, Best Jazz Instrumental Album – Individual or Group and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. “The Girl from Ipanema,”already a No. 5 pop hit and Adult Contemporary chart-topper, won Record of the Year. (Jerry Herman took Song of the Year for “Hello, Dolly!” and The Beatles were awarded Best New Artist.) Jazz and commercial pop had truly become one and the same, always an objective of producer Creed Taylor. Another jazz album wouldn’t take home the Grammys’ Album of the Year until Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters in 2008!
The reverberations of the bossa nova craze are still heard today in jazz, chillout, lounge and pop music. If you’d like to get in on the ground floor to hear where it all started in America, Analogue’s remastered hybrid SACD of Getz/Gilberto might be for you! The track listing and pre-order link appears below. The title will also be released by Analogue on a 45-RPM vinyl record.
Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto, Getz/Gilberto (Verve V6-8545, 1964 – reissued Analogue Productions CVRJ-8545-SA, 2011)
- The Girl from Ipanema
- Para Machuchar Meu Coração
- Só Danço Samba
- O Grande Amor
- Vivo Sonhando