The Bossa Nova Albums
The Bossa Nova Albums collects five of the pinnacle recordings from the best American foray into Brazilian jazz, which began in 1962 with the Stan Getz/Charlie Byrd collaboration Jazz Samba and peaked one year later with the fourth album in the ad hoc series, Getz/Gilberto (which would have been better titled Getz/Gilberto/Jobim). Getz/Gilberto's high place in musical history would be assured even without the immense success of Astrud Gilberto's vocalizing on "The Girl from Ipanema." The album was pivotal in repositioning American musical consciousness to include the soft textures and nimble playing of João Gilberto's guitar and Antonio Carlos Jobim's piano, and it influenced the material that a wide range of singers included on their albums. Admirably, Getz only continued to use his position to introduce great Brazilian musicians to the record-buying public; he recorded Jazz Samba Encore! with Luiz Bonfá, a better guitarist than even Gilberto, and Stan Getz with Guest Artist Laurindo Almeida (the latter recorded only two days after Getz/Gilberto was finished). Beyond the uniformly excellent music, this specific set does nothing more than repackage five separately available CDs, all of which featured up-to-date mastering but not the bonus tracks of previous editions; there isn't even a booklet or a single liner note beyond what was on the original LPs. For the full story and additional material, including tracks from the piecemeal Getz/Gilberto #2, Getz's The Bossa Nova Years box set is still the one to beat.