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The Legend

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  • Posted March 29, 2013

    The 2-CD set "João Gilberto: The Legend" is simply a t

    The 2-CD set "João Gilberto: The Legend" is simply a treasure for bossa nova fans.  Each of the 66(!) tracks is at least a half-century old, and
    some tracks date back 60 years, but their quality is excellent.  And their substance is nothing short of fabulous.

    Disc One comprises three João Gilberto vocal LPs recorded between 1958 and 1961 that include many compositions of Antonio Carlos Jobim
    and several works by Carlos Lyra.  Most of these 36 tracks were arranged by Jobim and feature him on piano.  I was struck by the beauty and
    sophistication of Jobim's arrangements; as much as I've always admired Claus Ogerman's arrangements of Jobim's later albums, I now realize
    that Mr. Ogerman must have learned a thing or two from Tom as well!

    Disc Two ("Antiques and Curios") is, as its name suggests, an eclectic assortment: it starts with João's rendition of "Outra Vez" performed at the
    historic 1962 Bossa Nova concert in Carnegie Hall, includes some of his very early solo and group recordings from 1951-52, also features
    his back-up work on guitar for Elizete Cardoso, Os Cariocas and Jonas Silva, and concludes with several selections from the soundtrack
    of the 1962 film Copacabana Palace.

    Readers of Ruy Castro's book Bossa Nova will be aware of the seminal role João's and Ms. Cardoso's renditions of "Chega de Saudade" played
    in transforming Tom Jobim's beautiful music into the bossa nova that has inspired both listeners and jazz artists ever since.  To have just their two
    tracks would alone justify the purchase of this album.  But to have three complete albums of Gilberto's early bossa nova vocal work plus such a
    wide range of extras makes this set a must-have for every fan of bossa nova.


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