That tall and tan and young and lovely “Girl from Ipanema” is back, thanks to Verve Records’ 50th Anniversary Edition of Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto’s Getz/Gilberto. In stores today, this new deluxe edition presents the seminal bossa nova album in both mono and stereo, with the mono mix appearing on CD for the very first time. In addition, this release retains the bonus tracks – single versions of “The Girl from Ipanema” and “Corcovado” – from Verve’s previous reissue.
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 a cooler, more relaxed variation on the rhythms of 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 João Gilberto with notable cameos by Gilberto’s young wife Astrud. Getz/Gilberto spawned a live sequel as well as countless imitations, and has remained in print since its initial release. The original album, recorded at New York’s A&R Studios by engineer Phil Ramone, has been issued in nearly every format conceivable, including audiophile reissues on LP, SACD and Blu-ray Audio.
Upon its original release in May 1964, Getz/Gilberto was an instant sensation. Tenor saxophonist Getz was accompanied by João 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. (Jobim also received a featured credit on the album cover.) Born in 1927, Jobim was one of the composers, primarily with Luis Bonfá, of the 1959 film Black Orpheus. The motion picture, based on a 1956 stage play for which Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes also supplied the score, introduced bossa nova to a wider audience despite its harsher, more percussion-driven style on the film soundtrack.
João Gilberto began recording in his native Brazil as early as 1951, but his earliest work was mere prelude to the seismic contributions he would make to world music later in the decade. “Bim-Bom,” written by Gilberto in 1956 but not recorded until 1958, has been considered the first true bossa nova song. The artist’s hushed style of voice-and-guitar epitomized the breezy yet sophisticated genre which refined the traditional sound of samba into something intimate, inviting and richly melodic. Gilberto’s 1959 album Chega de Saudade, named after a composition by his friends Jobim and de Moraes, was the first bossa nova LP, and ignited the genre. He also played a major role on the Black Orpheus soundtrack.
Stan Getz had discovered this startling new sound on a trip to Brazil, and in 1962 released Jazz Samba, a collaboration with Charlie Byrd that is recognized as one of the first major American albums in the bossa nova style. Verve chief and future CTI Records founder Creed Taylor, always one with a keen ear for pop “crossover” jazz, was in the producer’s chair for Jazz Samba. Two Jobim songs were heard on Jazz Samba, “Desafinado” and “One Note Samba.” Getz teamed with Bonfá and Taylor for Jazz Samba Encore! in 1963 with three Jobim compositions, “I Only Dance Samba,” “How Insensitive” and “O Morro Não Tem Vez.” This quick sequel was the first American/Brazilian bossa effort. The saxophonist was poised for a breakthrough when he teamed with João Gilberto and Taylor to record Getz/Gilberto, his most coolly intimate bossa exploration, in March 1963 (more than a year before its release).
Hit the jump for more details on the new Getz/Gilberto!
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 sax riffs. Astrud’s participation was actually a happy accident; Taylor noticed João’s 22-year old wife singing along in the studio in Portuguese and promptly asked her to adorn the recording. Getz/Gilberto reached No. 2 on the Billboard Top LPs chart, and cleaned up at the 1965 Grammy Awards. It took 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 Creed Taylor’s. 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, Verve’s 50th anniversary mono/stereo edition of Getz/Gilberto just might be for you. Produced by Harry Weinger and remastered by Kevin Reeves, this reissue includes a deluxe 28-page booklet reprinting the original liner notes by Getz, Gilberto and lyricist Gene Lees plus a new appreciation from critic Marc Myers and numerous photographs.
You can order the new Getz/Gilberto below!
- The Girl from Ipanema
- Para Machuchar Meu Coração
- Só Danço Samba
- O Grande Amor
- Vivo Sonhando
- The Girl from Ipanema (Mono)
- Doralice (Mono)
- Para Machuchar Meu Coração (Mono)
- Desafinado (Mono)
- Corcovado (Mono)
- Só Danço Samba (Mono)
- O Grande Amor (Mono)
- Vivo Sonhando (Mono)
- The Girl from Ipanema (Single Version) (Verve single VK-10322-A, 1964)
- Corcovado (Single Version) (Verve single VK-10322-B, 1964)
This article has been adapted from our previous coverage of Analogue Productions’ 2011 stereo SACD and vinyl reissues.