Getz/Gilbertoby Stan Getz
Is there any sexier sound than Astrud Gilberto's breathy singing on "Girl from Ipanema"? The runner-up would have to be Stan Getz's equally sultry tenor sax on the very same track. Every note of Getz/Gilberto, is heavy with tropical sensuality. Propelled by a lilting bossa nova beat, the incomparable Getz and Brazilian vocalist and guitarist Joao Gilberto construct songs that sound innocent and coy, restrained and passionate. Brazilian vocalist and guitarist Joao Gilberto's elegantly understated delivery and gentle phrasing play off the charming lack of polish in his wife Astrud's untrained voice, while Getz blows gorgeous clouds of melody about them. Thirty-five years later, however, "Girl" and the companion pieces like "Corcovado," "Desafinado," and "O Grande Amor" ensure that Getz/Gilberto still shimmers -- softly, slowly, gently -- every spin on your stereo.
Sax, Sex and Samba Keep "The Girl from Ipanema" Young
In 1964, at the outset of the British Invasion, a little Brazilian song featuring a jazz saxophonist and an amateur singer whose seductive sounds sent a tropical shimmer through the airwaves began an unlikely swim through the pop charts. By mid-July, it was a Top Ten hit, while the album on which it was featured stalled at No. 2 just behind the Beatles. Six months later, the surprise hit recordings won the Grammys for Record and Album of the Year.
Thirty-five years later, Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto's version of Antonio Carlos Jobim's "The Girl from Ipanema" is an icon, and the album, GETZ/GILBERTO, is a classic. They're the calling cards of bossa nova, the intoxicating mix of samba and cool jazz that composer Jobim,singer-songwriter Joao Gilberto, and others cooked up in Rio de Janeiro in the late '50s.
Ironically, "The Girl from Ipanema" came at what seemed the last gasp of an American bossa nova craze that had started in 1962 with Getz and guitarist Charlie Byrd's JAZZ SAMBA. After it went to No.1, and the single "Desafinado" -- a Brazilian hit for Gilberto -- hit the Top 20 on the Kennedy-era pop charts, everybody from Eydie Gorme to Miles Davis went bossa nova.
A year later, it was over: JAZZ SAMBA ENCORE, the Getz-Byrd sequel, topped out at No. 88, and the 1963 session that brought together Getz, Jobim and Gilberto was shelved.
"I had to beg the record company to release it," Getz said in 1990. After a year, they relented. A recent Jobim song was chosen as the single, mainly because, at Getz's insistence, some of it was in English.He felt "The Girl from Ipanema" needed an English vocal to offset Joao Gilberto's Portuguese. When a suitable singer couldn't be found, Joao's wife Astrud, an amateur, was enlisted, over the strenuous objections of her husband and songwriter Jobim. Astrud's beguiling vocals not only bring an undercurrent of understated allure to the recording, on the single version they're the only vocals you hear -- Joao's part was snipped out! The lyrics by Norman Gimbel were an approximate translation of the original lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes, and that, too, was a struggle.
"I had a big fight in a taxicab with Norman," Jobim said in 1985. "I couldn't express myself well and I was trying to explain to him that I wanted him to use the name 'Ipanema.' And he said, 'Ipanema doesn't exist, it's a toothpaste [Ipana], this makes no sense.' And I said, 'But this is a place in Rio de Janeiro, this is a beach.' But I couldn't speak well. And then the cabbie stopped the car and turned to me and said, 'You are wrong, your friend is right.' I was even more unhappy."
Jobim persisted and the rest is music history: Astrud Gilberto remained in America to become a star. Joao Gilberto returned to Rio to become a legend. Jobim's songs went on to become 20th-century classics. And Stan Getz went on his way.
"Sure," Getz said, "at that point I could have gotten a couple of singers with fruit on their head, put a little chihuahua on my arm, and become the Jewish Xavier Cugat. But I didn't want to play that stuff all the time; it's boring all the time. I come from a nitty-gritty jazz feel."
Getz and Jobim are gone. But bossa nova, like that tall and tan and young and lovely girl, keeps walking. And when she passes, each one she passes, goes, "Ahhhhh."
- Release Date:
- Polygram Records
Performance CreditsStan Getz Primary Artist,Tenor Saxophone,Track Performer
Astrud Gilberto Vocals
João Gilberto Guitar,Vocals,Track Performer
Milton Banana Drums
Antonio Carlos Jobim Guitar,Piano
Tommy Williams Bass
Technical CreditsVinícius de Moraes Composer
Gene Lees Composer,Liner Notes
Norman Gimbel Composer
Antonio Carlos Jobim Composer
Phil Ramone Engineer
Creed Taylor Producer
Val Valentin Director Of Engineering
Ary Barroso Composer
Hollis King Art Direction
Olga Albizu Cover Painting
Antonio Almeida Composer
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Wonderfully romantic! Great CD to listen to by the fireplace, sipping wine, or on a road trip. Makes me feel uber sophisticated. Very worth the money.
Nothing describres more beautifully the concept of Bossa. Doesn't matter if you are a bossa begginer or an experienced music digger, you must hear this if you want to start talking about bossa. You won't be dissapointed, try it!
The ease at which the songs float and flow by belie the brilliance and sophistication of the song writing. Antonio Carlos Jobim’s compositions are among the best any genre has to offer. A master of harmony and melody, he wrote most of the classic Bossa Nova songs. Great playing by all musicians – Getz is so lyrical, and Joao’s guitar playing defines the Bossa Nova feel.