Jazz at 100 Hour 59: Jazz and Bossa Nova (1958 – 1963)

João Gilberto – Antônio Carlos Jobim – Stan Getz

Fueled by the 1959 international release of the movie Black Orpheus and through reports from US jazz players returning from South American tours, the Brazilian music Bossa Nova (Portugese for “new trend” or “new wave”) found its way into American jazz in the early 1960s, becoming a permanent part of the jazz fusion. Stan Getz, in particular, appreciated Bossa Nova as the interaction between cool jazz and samba and collaborated successfully with many of the pioneers of the new music, including Luis Bonfa, Antonio Carlos Jobim & João Gilberto.

João Gilberto.
Throughout the 1950s Brazilian composer, singer, guitarist João Gilberto, developed a highly-person style that formed the core of the new music. He wrote what is considered the first Bossa Nova song, “Bim Bom,” during a period of reconsideration of his lagging musical career. His first single release “Chega De Saudade” was a hit as was the LP by the same name released in 1959. The LP has been described as the Brazilian Kind of Blue.

Bim Bom. João Gilberto Septet
(Edmundo Maciel-tb, Copinha-fl, João Gilberto-g/voc, Antônio Carlos Jobim-p, Milton Banana-d, Juquinha Rubens Bassini-per). From Chega De Saudade. 7/10/1958
Composed by João Gilberto

Chega De Saudade. João Gilberto Septet
(Edmundo Maciel-tb, Copinha-fl, João Gilberto-g/voc, Antônio Carlos Jobim-p, Milton Banana-d, Juquinha Rubens Bassini-per). From Chega De Saudade. 7/10/1958
Composed by Antônio Carlos Jobim & Vinícius De Moraes

Bossa Nova – Gilberto, Bonfa, Jobim
The international spread of Bossa Nova has its roots in a theatrical project that brought Antonio Carlos (Tom) Jobim to write songs for what eventually became the film Black Orpheus with a score by Luiz Bonfa. After the release of the film in 1959, Jobim, Bonfa and Jobim’s friend, Gilberto were the recognized stars of the new Bossa Nova in Brazil. Concurrently, Dizzy Gillespie and guitarist Charlie Byrd became excited by the new music during their South American tours and brought the music back to the US in 1961.
“Although detractors insisted that they were merely reinterpreting the traditional samba, [Tom] Jobim and company insisted that bossa nova represented a break with tradition no less meaningful than bop’s break with swing… Bossa nova incarnated a young innovative attitude with poetic, sometimes self-mocking lyrics that occasionally menancholy, were almost invariably as gentle as a summer’s breeze. Harmonically, it delighted in intricate chord changes not unlike bop, favoring seventh and ninth chords and melodic dissonances.” – Gary Giddins & Scott DeVeaux

Manha De Carnaval (Part 2). Luiz Bonfá solo
(Luiz Bonfa-g). From Black Orpheus. 1959
Composed by Luiz Bonfá & Antonio Maria

Black Orpheus. Wayne Shorter Quintet
(Freddie Hubbard-tp, Wayne Shorter-ts, Eddie Higgins-p, Jymie Merritt-b, Marshall Thompson-d). From Wayning Moments. 11/2/1961
Composed by Luiz Bonfá & Antonio Maria

Stan Getz.
Getting no nibbles otherwise, Charlie Byrd recruited Stan Getz for his bossa nova project, making it attractive to Verve records. Byrd brought to the session his own growing catalog of Bossa Nova music and a quintet of three strings and two percussion. The resulting release, Jazz Samba, changed Getz’s career.

“In 1961, Stan Getz’s light, lyrical approach was becoming a sidelight to the dominant directions of the music, but he can roaring back with a strong tenor-sax-and-strings project, Focus.  But the strong reception of this work in the jazz community paled in comparison to the huge public response to Getz’s ensuing bossa nova projects. Getz may not have been the first to recognize the jazz potential of this music—Antonio Carlos Jobim’s compositions and João Gilberto’s vocals had attracted many admirers since their initial Rio de Janeiro recordings from the late 1950s—but no one did more to bring it to the attention of audiences outside Brazil.” – Ted Gioia

‘The song, “…‘Samba Dees Days’ is not a Brazilian bossa nova. It was written by Charlie Byrd for the Jazz Samba sessions… His piece catches the rhythmic excitement of Brazilian jazz but also the more wistful elements. The first half of the bridge uses a familiar device in the songs of Tom Jobim, also commonplace in jazz, the repetition of one note. Indeed, one of Jobim’s songs included on Jazz Samba is ‘Samba De Una Nota Só’ (‘One Note Samba’), which Byrd recalled as ‘the most recorded song in all’ of Brazil. The star of [‘Samba Dees Day’s‘] is Stan Getz, whose effortless phrasing, combined with the understated playing of the two drummers, captures the music’s easygoing polyrhythms. His playing has an irresistibly offhand confidence as he alternated long and short phrases, bounces along on the one-note idea of the bridge and rises to a couple of high-note climaxes that were something of a Getz specialty – increasing not only his range but the power of his timbre.” – Gary Giddins & Scott DeVeaux

Samba Dees Days. Stan Getz – Charlie Byrd Sextet
(Stan Getz-ts, Charlie Byrd-g, Gene Byrd-g/b, Keter Betts-b, Buddy Deppenschmidt-d, Bill Reinchenbach-per). From Jazz Samba. 2/13/1962 (The Norton Collection)
Composed by Charlie Byrd

Samba De Una Nota Só. Stan Getz – Charlie Byrd Sextet
(Stan Getz-ts, Charlie Byrd-g, Gene Byrd-g/b, Keter Betts-b, Buddy Deppenschmidt-d, Bill Reinchenbach-per). From Jazz Samba. 2/13/1962
Composed by Antônio Carlos Jobim & Newton Mendonca

Bossa Nova Spreads.
With the huge success of Jazz Samba, a dozen jazz artists had recorded their versions of Bossa nNova by the end of 1962, including Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Grant Green, Gil Evans, Miles Davis, Zoot Sims, Ella Fitzgerald and Dexter Gordon.

Desafinado. Dizzy Gillespie Septet
(Dizzy Gillespie-tp/voc, Leo Wright-fl/as/voc, Lalo Schifrin-p, Elek Bacsik-g, Chris White-b, Ruby Collins-d, Pepito Riestria-per). From Dizzy On The French Riviera. 5/1962
Composed by Antônio Carlos Jobim & Newton Mendonca

Corcovado. Gil Evans Orchestra
(Royal, Glow, Mucci, Baker-tp, Miles Davis -flh, JJ Johnson, Rehak-tb, Alonge, Watkins, Corrado-frh, Barber-tu, Lacy-ss, Block, Richardson-fl, Tricarico, Bushell-basn, Putman-harp, Paul Chambers-b, Jimmy Cobb-d, Bobo, Elvin Jones-per). From Quiet Nights. 7/27/1962
Composed by Antônio Carlos Jobim & Eugene Lees

Stumpy Bossa Nova. Coleman Hawkins Septet
(Coleman Hawkins-ts, Howard Collins-g, Barry Galbraith-g, Major Holley-b, Eddie Locke-d/per Tommy Flanagan-claves, Willie Rodriguez-per). From Desafinado. 9/17/1962
Composed by Coleman Hawkins

Stan Getz with Luis Bonfa, Antônio Carlos Jobim & João Gilberto
“Quick to capitalize on [the] success [of Jazz Samba], Getz released several other bossa nova recordings, as did a host of other jazz musicians, anxious to benefit from the Brazilian fad before it faded.” Getz’s releases included Big Band Bossa Nova, Jazz Samba Encore (with Luiz Bonfa), Getz/Gilberto with João Gilberto, Stan Getz with Guest Artist Laurindo Almeida, Getz au Go-Go (with Astrud Gilberto) and Getz/Gilberto 2. “In the summer of 1964, just when it seemed as if the public’s appetite for the new sound had been sated, Getz achieved an even more celebrated hit single with “The Girl from Ipanema.” The Getz/Gilberto LP climbed to number two on the charts, kept from the top spot only by the Beatles.” – Ted Gioia

Insensatez (How Insensitive). Stan Getz – Luiz Bonfa Septet
(Stan Getz-ts, Antônio Carlos Jobim-p/g, Luiz Bonfa-g, Tommy Williams-b, George Duvivier-b, Paulo Ferreira-d, Jose Carlos-d/per, Maria Toledo-voc). From Jazz Samba Encore. 2/8/1963
Composed by Antônio Carlos Jobim, Vinícius De Moraes & Norman Gimbel

The Girl From Ipanema. Stan Getz – João Gilberto Quintet with Astrud Gilberto
(Stan Getz-ts, Antônio Carlos Jobim-p, João Gilberto-g/voc, Tommy Williams-b, Milton Banana-d, Astrud Gilberto-voc). From Getz/Gilberto. 3/18-19/1963
Composed by Antônio Carlos Jobim, Vinícius De Moraes & Norman Gimbel
“You won’t find a jazz critic with many kind words to say about Astrud Gilberto’s singing on ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ – the album’s breakout single – though I think it’s completely palatable for a music that suggests things other than virtuosity… [T]here was an everywoman quality to her voice that implied the nearness of the girl from Ipanema – that she might be the average girl within reach.” – Ben Ratliff

Doralice. Stan Getz – João Gilberto Quintet
(Stan Getz-ts, Antonio Carlos Jobim-p, João Gilberto-g/voc, Tommy Williams-b, Milton Banana-d). From Getz/Gilberto. 3/18-19/1963
Composed by António Victorino Almeida & Dorival Caymmi

Kenny Dorham & Joe Henderson.
Trumpeter Kenny Dorham was another jazz musician exposed to Bossa Nova in Brazil, in his case at the Rio de Janiero Jazz Festival in 1961. In 1963, Joe Henderson, in his debut as a leader, was the first to record Dorham’s composition, ‘Blue Bossa,’ one of the few US-composed bossa novas that become a standard in the jazz repertoire.

Blue Bossa. Joe Henderson Quintet
(Kenny Dorham-tp, Joe Henderson-ts, McCoy Tyner-p, Butch Warren-b, Pete LaRoca-d). From Page One. 6/3/1963
Composed by Kenny Dorham

“It has been said so many times that Getz was inspired by the bossa nova and that he “owes everything” to it, that it is necessary to point out that earlier there had been a reverse influence: from cool jazz (where Getz has his roots) to the Brazilian samba. Only from the interaction between cool jazz and samba did the bossa nova emerge. Thus, a circle was closed when Getz “borrowed back” (as he himself expressed it) Brazilian elements. This may be one of the main reasons for the fascination of his “Brazilianized,” melodic cool-jazz transformations, although some creative Brazilian musicians considered these recordings falsifications or bastardizations from a rhythmic point of view. It is interesting to remember that the characteristic switch from the choralelike cantilena to intensely rhythmic passages, so typical of Brazilian music, also existed in a different form in Getz’s cool improvisations from the early fifties on, long before the emergence of bossa nova.” – Joachim-Ernst Berendt

As the 1960s began Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers were fueled by the compositions of Wayne Shorter with the front line of Shorter and Lee Morgan. In 1961, this transitioned to the last great Messengers lineup of the 1960s – and it was one of the best ever – Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Curtis Fuller on trombone, Wayne Shorter on tenor, Cedar Walton on piano and Jymie Merritt on bass, propelled by compositions by Shorter, Fuller, Walton. The 1960s edition of the Jazz Messengers in the next hour of Jazz at 100.

The Norton Jazz Recordings – 4 Compact Discs for use with JAZZ by Scott DeVeaux and Gary Giddins. W.W. Norton 933796.
Joao Gilberto. Chega De Saudade. Odeon MOFB 3073
Luis Bonfa & Antonio Carlos Jobim. Black Orpheus. Epic 3672
Wayne Shorter. Wayning Moments. Vee-Jay LP 3029
Dizzy Gillespie. Dizzy On The French Riviera. Philips PHS 600-048
Miles Davis/Gil Evans. Quiet Nights. Columbia CL 2106
Coleman Hawkins. Desafinado. Impulse! A 28
Stan Getz & Luis Bonfa. Jazz Samba Encore. Verve V/V6 8523
Stan Getz & João Gilberto. Getz/Gilberto. Verve V/V6 8545
Joe Henderson. Page One. Blue Note BLP 4140

Berendt, Joachim-Ernst. 2009. The Jazz Book: From Ragtime to the 21st Century. Chicago Review Press.
The Instruments of Jazz: The Saxophones – The Tenor Saxophone
Giddins, Gary & DeVeaux, Scott. 2009. JAZZ. New York, NY. WW Norton & Company.
Chapter 16. Fusion 1: R&B, Singers and Latin Jazz.
Giddins, Gary. 1998. Visions of Jazz: The First Century. New York. Oxford University Press.
Chapter 44. Stan Getz (Seasons)
Gioia, Ted. 2011. The History of Jazz. New York. Oxford University Press.
Chapter 7 – The Fragmentation of Jazz Styles.
Ratliff, Ben. 2002. The New York Times Essential Library of Jazz. New York. Times Books.
Chapter 64. Stan Getz & João Gilberto, Getz/Gilberto (1961)

Annotated playlists and streaming links for all the Jazz at 100 broadcasts: Jazz at 100

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