Saturday, June 03, 2006

33. Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd - Jazz Samba (1962)

Track Listing

1. Desafinado
2. Samba Dees Days
3. O Pato
4. Samba Triste
5. Samba De Uma Nota Só
6. É Luxo Só
7. Bahia


Growing up in Portugal you know all these songs by heart, usually however in the original, or in the other Stan Getz album, Getz/Gilberto which will be reviewed here later. And because of that you know the songs with the Brazilian Portuguese lyrics etc.. and I really felt that that was missing here. Kept trying to sing Desafinado but damn Getz kept improvising over it.

Still, this is a great effort to translate Bossa Nova, seeing as calling it Jazz Samba is quite inadequate because most of the songs are not Samba at all, into a more Jazzy context. And for that it is thoroughly enjoyable. Frankly, however, the Brazilians did Brazilian music better than two Americans with holiday nostalgia. When Getz eventualy gets Astrud and João Gilberto to help in Getz/Gilberto he gets it much more right than here. This is however a great precurssor to one of the best Bossa Nova albums ever made. And the seeds are definitely here.

This album didn't really bring Bossa Nova to the attention of the States, because Bonfa's songs had already done that with the soundtrack of Orfeu Negro (Black Orpheus) some years before. However this helps bring Bossa Nova to a whole new level, and Byrd/Getz's choice of songs was a very good one. You can't go wrong with Jobim, and Jobim's songs are the ones which really stand out, Desafinado and Samba de uma Nota Só are amazing.

So, in conclusion, a good album, and for those who know nothing of Brazilian music a good starting point, but in the end a pale reflection of Brazilian music, it doesn't have the flare, it misses the great lyrics (which to an English speaking listener are useless but not to me) which would be rectified later by Getz himself. If you had to choose one get Getz/Gilberto. This doesn't mean this is a bad album, much the contrary... Brazilians have much to answer for in terms of good music and this is definitely a worthy tribute.

Stream it from Napster or buy it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Desafinado
2. Samba De Uma Nota Só
3. O Pato
4. É Luxo Só

Final Grade



Getz won the Grammy for Best Jazz Performance of 1963 for the track "Desafinado".

Hey, I bad-mouthed it but still gave it a 7. This is a good album.

No comments: