Getz/Gilberto – The Girl from Ipanema

Getz-Gilberto, 1963, one of my all-time favorite Jazz albums
Getz-Gilberto, 1964, one of my all-time favorite Jazz albums

96 Weeks on the Billboard charts, Getz/Gilberto reached the number 2 spot in 1964 – beat out only by The Beatles. Dig it.

This is the album that sealed the deal for Bossa Nova as a permanent form of Jazz. Featuring two of the original creators (and most well-known cats) of the Bossa Nova movement, Antonio Carlos Jobim and João Gilberto, this album is without doubt one of the most incredible representations of mid-century jazz at its finest.

Every song on this platter is fantastic, but the stand-outs are the ones which have stood the test of time: Corcovado, Desafinado, O Grande Amor, and of course The Girl From Ipanema, by Jobim’s account influenced by a hot young Brazilian chick named Heloísa Eneida Menezes Paes Pinto who used to stroll by the beach-side bar where he hung out.

If you want proof this album is boss, it won the 1965 Grammy Awards for Best Album of the Year, Best Jazz Instrumental Album – Individual or Group and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. “The Girl from Ipanema”, released as a shortened version for 45 RPM won the Grammy for Record of the Year in 1965. Dig this: It was the first time a jazz platter took Album of the Year.

Astrud Gilberto
Astrud Gilberto

Astrud Gilberto, João’s wife at the time had come along as an interpreter. She’d never sung professionally before this recording. The story goes Joåo liked her voice and asked her to fill in for him on a rehearsal. The rest is history.

The music on this album is equally enjoyable at your Tiki bar or mod-50’s corner bar, sitting by the pool with a Caipirinha or relaxing in the den on a rainy day. It’s available for download and on CD…but of course to really dig it retro-style, you’ve got to spin the vinyl.

Stan Getz
Stan Getz

My take: I first heard this album’s version of The Girl from Ipanema when I was around twelve years old. Getz’s sax playing blew me away. His style is so smooth, so delicate…so much different from the strength of Coleman Hawkins or the insane vitality of John Coltrane, I couldn’t help but get hip to it. When I started playing sax a year or so later, one of the first songs I learned was TGFI, by playing along with the record. Later it would become one of my ‘signature songs’ that I played at almost every gig, and in two of my murder mysteries with Stardust Productions. Of course I play it in my own style, but I did borrow a couple of Stan’s riffs 😉

-Tiki Chris, AKA Zoot the Saxman swinging from Tiki Lounge Talk’s bandstand.
Tiki Lounge Talk – The Tiki Culture & Swingin’ Retro Blog for Hep Kats and Krazy Kittens

One last funny thing…my last name is Pinto, and my great grandfather’s last name was Gilberti…small world, huh?

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