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Return To Ipanema: Verve Marks 50th Anniversary of “Getz/Gilberto” With Deluxe Reissue

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Getz-Gilberto 50thThat 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!

Stan Getz and João Gilberto, Getz/Gilberto (Verve V6-8545/V-8545, 1964 – reissued Verve CD B0020749-02, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. The Girl from Ipanema
  2. Doralice
  3. Para Machuchar Meu Coração
  4. Desafinado
  5. Corcovado
  6. Só Danço Samba
  7. O Grande Amor
  8. Vivo Sonhando
  9. The Girl from Ipanema (Mono)
  10. Doralice (Mono)
  11. Para Machuchar Meu Coração (Mono)
  12. Desafinado (Mono)
  13. Corcovado (Mono)
  14. Só Danço Samba (Mono)
  15. O Grande Amor (Mono)
  16. Vivo Sonhando (Mono)
  17. The Girl from Ipanema (Single Version) (Verve single VK-10322-A, 1964)
  18. 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.

Written by Joe Marchese

May 27, 2014 at 11:51

9 Responses

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  1. Strangely enough, this morning’s Washington Post contained an article about “Jazz Samba” which gives it and Charlie Byrd more credit for popularizing bossa nova than you allow here. “Jazz Samba,” released in 1962, reached No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart and remained on the chart for 70 weeks, and bossa nova was established well enough for Eydie Gormet to have a No. 7 hit with “Blame It on the Bossa Nova” in early 1963, more than a year before “Getz/Gilberto” was released.

    Ed

    May 27, 2014 at 14:41

    • A further item: Elvis Presley’s “Bossa Nova Baby,” a No. 8 hit in late 1963, also predated “Getz/Gilberto.” It does seem a stretch to claim that “Getz/Gilberto” was “seminal” and “indisputably” began the bossa nova craze in the States.

      Ed

      May 27, 2014 at 15:02

      • Thanks for writing, Ed. With no disrespect to “Jazz Samba” and the success thereof, I respectfully stand by my words as written.

        “Jazz Samba,” though winning Getz a Grammy for “Desafinado” and reading the chart summit, didn’t have the pop crossover appeal that “Getz/Gilberto” did. “Desafinado” reached No. 15 Pop but no higher, and Getz himself wasn’t happy with the results. Even he knew that he could, artistically (and likely commercially), take it further. Gary Burton recalled, “He told me he felt it was poorly done…Charlie Byrd wasn’t inventive or an expert bossa player.” Getz yearned to team with authentic Brazilian musicians; once he did that for “Getz/Gilberto,” the public truly caught on, and soon every American vocal giant was recording “The Girl/Boy from Ipanema.” Astrud was appearing in films (“Get Yourself a College Girl”), Engineer Phil Ramone commented, “When the single [“Ipanema”] became a hit, it drove the album and took the bossa nova to a new level in the U.S.” Whatever its strengths and despite its success, “Jazz Samba” failed to do that.

        “Getz/Gilberto” bested its predecessor in every way, remaining on the Billboard charts for 96 weeks and spawning the most successful crossover hit in jazz history. It might not have happened if not for “Jazz Samba,” but I do believe it was a seminal album and ignited the nascent bossa nova craze. (Much as I love “Blame it on the Bossa Nova” and “Bossa Nova Baby” and respect that the expression was already in the lexicon, they hardly count as true bossa novas!)

        Thanks for reading, too, and let’s agree to disagree. Enjoy the music! 🙂

        Joe Marchese

        May 27, 2014 at 17:03

  2. Joe, I don’t dispute that “Getz/Gilberto” rode the crest of the wave, but it didn’t *create* the wave. “Jazz Samba” did that, regardless of what Getz thought of Byrd, or what low-budget film Astrud Gilberto lip-synched in. (Yes, I admit to having seen it.) And “seminal” means containing or contributing to the seeds of later development. “Jazz Samba” was seminal, “Getz/Gilberto” was a later development. Finally, my point wasn’t that the Gorme and Presley hits were “true bossa novas,” but that the craze, if you want to call it that, was already well underway before “Getz/Gilberto” appeared, as evidenced by the pop songs built around the term. Surely you understood that.

    Ed

    May 27, 2014 at 17:33

    • I don’t wish to belabor the point, as we’re largely taking semantics here. I never stated that “Getz/Gilberto” created bossa nova; in fact, I discussed “Jazz Samba” and its sequel at length. “Seminal” is also defined as “strongly influencing later developments.” (Synonyms: pioneering, groundbreaking, original, innovative.) I believe all of those firmly apply to “Getz/Gilberto.” If Stan had not followed “Jazz Samba” with “G/G,” I don’t believe we’d be having this discussion about bossa nova today “G/G” influenced far more musicians than “Jazz Samba” ever did, and spawned countless covers of “The Girl from Ipanema,” which dated back to 1962. The song is reportedly the second most recorded song ever, after “Yesterday.” Its enduring popularity – and that of the bossa nova itself – is a direct result of “G/G.”

      “G/G” was the blockbuster that cemented bossa nova as a major part of American culture for a time. It fulfilled the promise of “Jazz Samba” not to mention other albums that predated it such as Dave Brubeck’s “Bossa Nova U.S.A.” Carole King didn’t invent the singer/songwriter genre, but I’d call “Tapestry” a seminal album in that genre. I could think of countless other examples, but again, we’re taking semantics. I don’t buy much into conjecture, but “Jazz Samba” would likely have been a footnote in Getz’s discography if not for “G/G,” which continues to be a steady catalogue seller today and as such has received umpteen reissues.

      I’m not trying to shortchange “Jazz Samba” but I wouldn’t underplay the enormous international success of “Getz/Gilberto,” either. Its ripples are still being felt today.

      Joe Marchese

      May 27, 2014 at 18:01

  3. History is definitely on Joe’s side. We can argue forever about who was first, or who was important, but the recordings by Getz took the world by storm.

    Despite all of this, it is better to pay tribute to Jobim and the Brazilian composers and performers.

    Kevin

    May 28, 2014 at 08:10

  4. More history and background by JazzWax’ Marc Myers who wrote the liner notes for this re-release: http://www.jazzwax.com/2014/06/getzgilberto-turns-50.html

    Mike

    June 12, 2014 at 15:32

    • Thanks for sharing, Mike. Terrifically informative and entertaining article.

      Joe Marchese

      June 12, 2014 at 15:42

  5. 50 years of a great song that everyone knows is still just as beautiful (chicken before the egg!). The popular brazilian bossa Nova duo MINAS in Philadelphia/New York will also be releasing a version of Girl from Ipanema with a big band and orchestra. They do a great Getz/Gilberto tribute concert that actually sounds like it should

    Steven

    August 26, 2014 at 15:46


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