(function(h,o,t,j,a,r){ h.hj=h.hj||function(){(h.hj.q=h.hj.q||[]).push(arguments)}; h._hjSettings={hjid:104204,hjsv:5}; a=o.getElementsByTagName('head')[0]; r=o.createElement('script');r.async=1; r.src=t+h._hjSettings.hjid+j+h._hjSettings.hjsv; a.appendChild(r); })(window,document,'//static.hotjar.com/c/hotjar-','.js?sv=');
Join us

Features

‘Getz/Gilberto’ And The Rhythms of Brazil

Getz/Gilberto is now a jazz classic, but when it was recorded no one expected it to become one of the best selling jazz albums of all time.

Published on

Getz/Gilberto Album cover

As the five musicians, one of whom was accompanied by his wife, arrived at A & R Studios in New York City on Monday evening 18 March 1963, none would have guessed that they were about to give jazz an almost unprecedented shot in the arm with Getz/Gilberto. Jazz was still, at this point, closer to the mainstream of popular taste, but it was still a minority interest

The musicians were, saxophonist Stan Getz along with pianist Antonio Carlos Jobim, Tommy Williams on bass, drummer Milton Banana (he was born Antônio de Souza), and the Brazilian guitarist whose wife was with him was, Joao Gilberto, her name as we now all know is Astrud, but at this point the 22 year old had not even recorded a song. Getz thought of this as another record to capitalise on the success of Jazz Samba that he and Charlie Byrd had recorded a year earlier and had just finished its week long run at the top of the Billboard album chart. A month earlier Getz had recorded with guitarist Luiz Bonfa and that album would be called Jazz Samba Encore.

From the cover painting by Olga Albizu, admittedly from Puerto Rico, to the soft samba sounds, to the subject of the songs – Corcovado and Ipanema are in Rio de Janeiro – Getz/Gilberto oozes Brazil from every groove.

Getz/Gilberto came a year later and made No.2 on the Billboard charts and went on to spend close to two years on the best seller list. In 1965 it won the Grammy for Best Album of the Year across all musical genres, the first time a jazz album was so rewarded, and has subsequently continued to be one of the half dozen best selling jazz albums of all time. Aside from all that it proves conclusively that jazz can be commercial and artistically satisfying.

Everything that could possible be said about this album has already been said, but… It was an after thought in the studio to get Astrud to sing in English on the two tracks as it was felt they needed some tracks that could get radio airplay. Norman Gimbel who subsequently wrote English lyrics to many classic Brazilian songs wrote the lyrics to ‘The Girl From Ipanema’. He also wrote the lyrics to ‘Sway’ the Mambo classic that was a hit for Dean Martin and much later the words to Roberta Flack’s ‘Killing Me Softly With His Song’. Astrud’s beautiful vocal on ‘The Girl From Ipanema’ helped propel the 45 release onto best seller charts around the world, including No.5 in the USA where it also won a Grammy as Song of the Year.

The musicians were back in the studio the following day to finish off the album. When Billboard reviewed the LP in April 1964 they simply said, “The sensuous tenor sax of Stan Getz combines with the soft edged voice of Brazil’s famous Joaõ Gilberto in a program of lovely Brazilian music.” So possibly they, and everyone else, did not expect Getz/Gilberto to do as well as it did.

Getz/Gilberto is now available as part of a career-spanning 5LP set, Stan Getz Bossa Nova Years on CD and vinyl along with: Big Band Bossa Nova, Jazz Samba, Jazz Samba Encore!, Getz/Gilberto and Getz/Almeida.

Listen-Buy
20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. mhen gomez

    May 30, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    please tell me where can i get mp3 of astrud gilberto , joao gilberto , and stan getz…..

    • uDiscover

      May 30, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      The best places to get MP3s are either iTunes or Amazon.

  2. Dan

    June 2, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    When I first hear this on my dad’s vinyl copy, it changed my life.

    • uDiscover

      June 2, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      Dan, that is so cool!

  3. Ian

    June 10, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    I have the original CD and a 12 inch vinyl copy of Girl from Ipanema. The only problem is that its so infectious. Even just thinking about it sets the tune off in my head. My wife has banned it as she can’t get the song out of her mind for weeks.

    • Lee Magri

      November 2, 2014 at 1:04 am

      I agree ..it is overtakes ones being..it plays on ones head for days..

  4. Linda

    October 21, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Love Samba du una nota so. Many meories.

  5. Janet

    October 31, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    I agree with Dan. The first time I heard this album, from the very first note, it changed my life.

  6. Elias

    November 1, 2014 at 8:27 am

    i bought it as it came out. My kids were little then. Payed it daily, danced to it, fell asleep to it, made love to it, studied to it….
    Still listen to it with the same delight as so many years ago.
    And it’s wonderful melodic lines pop in my mind constantly. Bought virtually every Jobim album since. Saw him his wife, son and daughter perform in Paul Mason Winery, California two years before he died.
    I credit Jobim and Getz for steering my sons to GOOD music all their lives, along some Beethoven too.

  7. Elias

    November 1, 2014 at 8:29 am

    i bought it as it came out. My kids were little then. Played it daily, danced to it, fell asleep to it, made love to it, studied to it….
    Still listen to it with the same delight as so many years ago.
    And it’s wonderful melodic lines pop in my mind constantly. Bought virtually every Jobim album since. Saw him his wife, son and daughter perform in Paul Mason Winery, California two years before he died.
    I credit Jobim and Getz for steering my sons to GOOD music all their lives, along some Beethoven too.

    • uDiscover

      November 1, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      Elias, what a lovely story. We’re with you 100%. Thanks for sharing

  8. Kirk Johnson

    November 1, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    I was in Rio in 1987. Just for the hell of it, I went into a record store to buy a cassette copy. Admittedly, I spoke no Portuguese, but it took about 45 minutes to find a copy that was underneath a pile of other stuff and full of dust. I got it tho.

  9. Ron

    November 1, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    This is one of the most beautiful and artistic albums of all time. The sensuous melodies of Jobim, Gilberto and Getz will never be duplicated. I never tire of listening to this!

  10. Tony

    November 1, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    My Uncle was a Merchant Marine and brought me my first bossa nova album which I still have and that opened the doors to Jobim, Gilberbo, Astrud and Getz. I have this original and many more of these albums.

  11. Frank M

    November 1, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    One of the few albums I own that I never get tired of hearing,,, Vivo Sonhando, O Grande Amor, and my all time favorite Jobim song, “Desafinado”…a true classic!!

  12. Tony Watson

    August 3, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    I first heard this in 1965 and it has been my ‘late night music’ ever since. Her voice and his sax are totally hypnotic.

  13. Nonoy Baclagon

    October 2, 2016 at 6:15 am

    It was with great pleasure that I listenend to these tunes on vinyl, cassette, cd, mp3. Please catch up, and enjoy their music. We’re one of a kind.

  14. Lori

    December 18, 2016 at 3:22 am

    My all time favorite album. It’in car cd player. 1st heard it 1964.

  15. Joe A. Flores

    March 18, 2018 at 2:15 am

    Been listening to this CD often since finding it about three years ago…can’t get enough of it!

  16. Pingback: Best Jazz Saxophonists Of All Time: A Top 50 Countdown | uDiscover

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Don't Miss