Getz/Gilberto - Getz/Gilberto - Verve Records - V6-8545 - 1964 Shifting gears briefly away from the rock and roll, because yesterday was one of those days where inner anguish needed soothing by some cool, cool sounds... This is the record that introduced Bossa Nova and Brazilian music to USA pop culture in a big way, so it's historically important, and it's personally important to me as well, though it's so, so easy to take it for granted. Tom Jobim, the composer and arranger of most of the material is a true genius, and that simple, relentless João Gilberto guitar driving the whole machine is still thrilling, as are the delicate, melancholy songs. The breathy, unpretentious vocals, from Gilberto and his soon-to-become-internationally famous young wife Astrud evoke a mood unlike anything else in popular music. And the rhythm section is a miracle of effective restraint. The bass playing from the uncredited Sebastião Neto, and above all the bass sound, is phenomenal. The status of this album as a pop/jazz classic is certainly deserved. It wouldn't have happened without Stan Getz, and certainly I'm grateful for that. Without him and this recording project and the smashing success of "Girl from Ipanema" I doubt a guy like me would ever have heard of Tom Jobim or bossa nova. However, for all that, I have to say, I tend to prefer the non-Getz versions of all of these songs, those that came before and after. That sax always feels like an intruder when it pops up. (And I don't hate saxophones either -- stay tuned for some sax posts in future, maybe.) In the context of this gorgeously understated music, it's just a shade too aggressive. In the non-New York context, bossa nova tended to feature "softer" sounds for the woodwind role, flute usually, or other brass and wind instruments more integrated with the rhythmic backbone, not so "in your face." Anyway, it tends to shatter the mood, which depends, at least for me, on the contemplative and the melancholic amid the cool, cool sounds, even though the cool, cool sounds obviously lend themselves to American jazz. The 1959 Gilberto album Chega De Saudade (which I'm still looking for an acceptable vinyl copy of) works out way better for me; and I'm in awe of the Tom Jobim oeuvre. That said, I love this record even when I wince slightly through the sax. "Desafinado," the anthem of the unconventional singer for whom heart is more important and meaningful than prowess is definitely the most beautiful and compelling song ever written concerning singers for whom heart is more important and meaningful than technical prowess, and for that alone I am pretty much contractually obligated to celebrate it. This album, at the time it was released, at the time I discovered it, and now retrospectively, is a window into a huge, fascinating, amazing, almost unbelievably cool world. This copy is a stereo 1973 repress, per discogs. notes: --discogs: -- Getz/Gilberto: -- João Gilberto - Chega De Saudade: -- the wikipedia article for the album is fairly good: [Originally posted on the Vinyl Collector group. Reproducing it here so it can be shared. The group url permissions bug, if bug it be, is still bugging.] #music #bossanova #vinylcollector #minds