TRACK BY TRACK THROUGH MY FAVORITE ALBUMS: GETZ/GILBERTO

  1. Getz/Gilberto has been my favorite album since I was in middle school.
    My Dad was VERY concerned about the legality of iTunes when it first launched, so he had us buy this album and wait a month before we did anything else to make sure the FBI didn't come knocking. So for about a month it was the only album on my new iPod and I fell completely in love with it.
  2. It was the first album that made me think outside the box.
    I liked the stuff I heard on the radio, and the punk rock music my friends were into. But this old Brazilian and Bossa Nova Jazz album made me fall in love with different kinds of music and begin to explore across genres.
  3. It's one of the most iconic jazz albums of all time.
    The most popular track, opening number 'The Girl From Ipanema' is one of the most recorded songs of all time. It can be heard in hundreds of versions, appearing on television and in movies ever since it was first written and recorded for this album in 1963, including a prominent feature in the Opening Ceremonies of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
  4. It's a collaboration between the great American saxophonist Stan Getz
  5. and the Brazilian guitarist João Gilbero
  6. With Brazilian pianist and composer Antônio Carlos Jobim
  7. Individually considered the three founders of Bossa Nova Jazz, this album brought them together as the definitive album in the genre, fueling a worldwide craze.
  8. It also launched the career of Astrud Gilberto, who sings on the iconic 'Girl from Ipanema' and 'Corcovado'
    She had never sung professionally before joining her husband on this album.
  9. There was drama that fueled the passion of the album.
    Astrud and João were married in 1959, but during the writing and recording of this album, Astrud and Stan Getz began an affair. She eventually left them both for someone else, and they eventually continued to make music together.
  10. Some of the songs feature English lyrics, others are exclusively in Brazilian Portuguese.
    My grandmother speaks many languages fluently, and translated the album for me as best she could once, so I could learn more about the songs.
  11. I've been trying to talk about or write about what this album means to me for awhile
    In this album I hear everything. When I listen to it while sad I hear that morose heartbreak throughout, or when I'm happy it makes me want to dance. It's such a dynamic work of art, so here we go, track by track. If you'd care to listen along as you read, here it is on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/3lPIhnwknJZ1OsApgTy4V2 and here it is on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_KASkXMUJQutYr-8i_OQCM1X7-IFqmWi
  12. Track One: The Girl From Ipanema
    Often when you hear 'The Girl From Ipanema' you hear a version that features only her singing in English, which was released as a single in 1964. However, the original version from the 1963 album features her husband singing in Brazilian Portuguese to begin the song, and they sing together so beautifully. João's voice begins the track in just this absolutely perfect, smooth "dun dun dun" and it builds from there.
  13. Continued
    Astrud was the only English speaker when the idea to add an English verse came up, she had no classical training but her voice fit perfectly. The song moves from the Brazilian verse, to Astrud's English verse. It is driven by a beautiful piano and guitar pattern, broken only for a verse from Stan Getz' saxophone before ending with Astrud Gilberto again.
  14. Continued
    The song tells the story of a seventeen year old girl that the artists saw stroll daily by the cafe in Ipanema where they spent time. In a documentary on the song, it was said she is a "golden teenage girl, a mixture of flower and mermaid, full of light and grace, the sight of whom is also sad, in that she carries with her, on her route to the sea, the feeling of youth that fades, of the beauty that is not ours alone - it is a gift of life in its beautiful and melancholic constant ebb and flow"
  15. Track Two: Doralice
    Translated "Doralice it's as I spoke: To love is but a joke, silly and out of control; I'd rather keep to myself, playing my guitar to express my soul." This song speaks of guilt, that he didn't love Doralice the way she love him, that he never saw her becoming his wife, even though he knew that's what she wanted.
  16. Track Three: Para Machucar Meu Coração
    This track starts with small piano riff and slowly adds elements, it's about heartbreak and features a line that roughly translates to "Life is a school where people need to learn the science of living not to suffer" that is so freaking beautiful to me.
  17. Track Four: Desafinado
    This is the 1960's Portuguese version of songs where rappers defend their skills. The translation is "Out of Tune" and is about how many people initially hated the Bossa Nova movement but that even those who sing "out of tune" also have a heart. My favorite line translates to "You, with your music, forgot the essential: in the chest of those who sing out of tune, deep inside it softly beats, in the chest of those who sing out of tune, a heart is beating well"
  18. Track Five: Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)
    Astrud Gilberto sings in this song again, having been "discovered" on the earlier "Girl From Ipanema" and its the only other song to feature English lyrics. It's a beautiful love song, between Astrud and João, her singing in English and his responses in Portuguese. "Having lost faith in this world, I found you and then I knew what happiness is, my love"
  19. Track Six: Só Danço Samba
    This is simply a dance song. "I only dance the Samba, I only dance the samba, go go go go" and it's fun and musically upbeat, the jazz drums rolling and Stan Getz's saxophone doing some of its best work on the album. It's so so fun to listen to.
  20. Track Seven: O Grande Amor
    In contrast to the last two tracks, O Grande Amor "The Great Love" is about heartbreak. About seeing the woman you love in love with someone else and you begin to wonder if the this was foreshadowing of the drama surrounding this album. The lyrics are short, the piano is beautiful, and Stan Getz evokes these emotions with his saxophone better than any lyric could.
  21. Continued:
    "Whatever happens, there is always a man for a woman... and she's always there to forget, a false love and a willingness to die. Anyway, she's there to win love that will be in her heart, like forgiveness for those who wept." He croons, and Getz's saxophone ends the song so powerfully, so poignantly.
  22. Track Eight: Vivo Sónhando
    There are multiple versions of many songs on this album, done and redone by Jazz greats through the years. "The Dreamer's" more famous version is done by Astrud Gilberto after she left the two men, but the original version sung by João Gilberto and written by Antonin Jobim is achingly gorgeous, speaking of love as a Dream, a dream he hopes comes true, a dream be begs to come to him soon. It's the song I probably identify with lyrically the most, and again, musically, it is effortlessly flawless.
  23. Continued:
    "I live to dream, just a dream dreaming endlessly. And all the time is it true, could you really like me? The hours are for talking of stars, oceans and heavens too. Saying just how good it could be with you. So come into my life, before my dream ends. People go by, they are smiling but I need more than friends. So I'm just talking of stars, the ocean and heavens moon. I live to dream, can you come to me soon?"