Master Composers: Stan Getz added true flair in teaming up with Joao Gilberto


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Born February 2, 1927 in Philadelphia and lived until June 6, 1991, Stan Getz found himeself early on playing both saxophone and cool jazz.  By the time 1963 rolled around, this first of two albums (the second volume was a series of concerts performed at New York’s famed Carnegie Hall) featured the subtle guitar rhythms of Joao Gilberto (and yes, Getz was romantically linked for a time with Astrud Gilberto, Joao’s wife).

Among the key accolades on this very popular album, they earned seven Grammy nominations in 1964, while winning four awards (Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Best Instrumental Jazz Performance – Small Group, and Best Engineered Record – non classical), in the process edging out both the Beatles and Barbra Streisand.  The album entered the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 and ‘The Girl From Ipanema’ single followed a year later in 2000.  It spent an astounding 96 consecutive weeks on top of the “Billboard Hot 100” charts.

Although everyone already knows about the world famous “Girl from Ipanema”, here are a couple of other tracks that the Getz/Gilberto makes this album a very worthy addition to any jazz fan’s library.

First up is the next track right after their hit song, called “Doralice”:

The fourth track, called “Desafinado” (or translated simply as, “Off Key”) earned a gold disc for earning the Grammy for Best Jazz Performance during 1963:

Astrud is quoted in the updated 1997/2000 liner notes on those early recording sessions, “I came to the U.S. with Joao to be his translator and attend to his needs.  The day before rehearsal, Stan Getz came to our hotel and Joao said to me, ‘I have a surprise for you.’  As he was talking to Stan–with me as (an) interpreter–Joao said, ‘I think Astrud could sing at the recording.”

“Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars” closes out the album.

As the original liner notes concluded:

“In many ways, then, this is more than a record.  It is friendship communicated by music.”

Next week, I will close out the month of featuring some true classic artists with Rio based crooner Dick Farney.

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