ARTicle Magazine

Rogue Classic Albums Live: Getz/Gilberto

05 June 2017

Singer Alda Rezende on the 1964 album she and her band will performing in the 2017 Wellington Jazz Festival.

Getz/Gilberto

Rogue Classic Albums Live: Getz/Gilberto, Alda Rezende and band, 5pm, Sunday 11 June, The Rogue & Vagabond, as part of the 2017 Wellington Jazz Festival, Wednesday 7–Sunday 11 June.

I cannot really say when I was introduced to the songs of this album. As a Brazilian, I was born into bossa nova and other Brazilian genres. When I was given a vinyl copy of Getz/Gilberto for my 21st birthday, that was actually my introduction to jazz.

Bossa nova is definitely not jazz but a genuinely Brazilian musical genre born from samba. It was, however, influenced by jazz and like jazz is a genre developed from a mix of African and European roots. One could say bossa nova is a tropical cousin of jazz; with the Getz/Gilberto album, the cousins became friends.

Bossa was born from a new guitar beat invented by João Gilberto with the extremely sophisticated but apparently simple melodies of Tom Jobim. Stan Getz, with his beautiful solos, brought this music to the universe of jazz.

Besides Getz and Gilberto (at the same time subtle and spectacular), the album features Jobim himself at the piano, Milton Banana on drums, Tião Neto on bass (later robbed of his credits) and Astrud Gilberto (João’s wife who had never sang professionally) singing two solos.

Getz/Gilberto is one of the bestselling jazz albums of all times, in a rare moment when musical excellence met commercial success. It was the first time a jazz album won the Grammy for best album. It cemented Brazilian music on the international scene. More than 50 years after the release of Getz/Gilberto, bossa nova standards are an established part of the jazz repertoire worldwide.