6

Joao Gilberto: João Gilberto

William H. Snyder By

Sign in to view read count
Joao Gilberto: João Gilberto
Joao Gilberto's date of birth was June 10, 1931. Happy 90th to the co-creator of Bossa Nova, wherever his spirit is. After his divorce from Astrud, the vocalist on "The Girl From Ipanema," featured on Getz/Gilberto (Verve Records, 1964), Gilberto lived in Mexico for a couple of years, creating the impression of an unpredictable and impetuous artist.

A pair of anecdotes survive from the early '70s. First, a concert organizer finds him playing for the staff at his hotel instead of the audience at the concert venue. Second, after striking a few notes on his guitar, he finds the acoustics disappointing and leaves the stage of another concert.

This album was recorded and engineered in New Jersey in 1973 by Walter (now Wendy) Carlos of synthesized Switched-On Bach (Columbia Masterworks, 1968) fame. The irony? Joao Gilberto is one of the purest acoustic guitar and vocal creations from that time. The audio-enhanced version found on Youtube is a treasure, a reminder that simply produced music lasts forever. It has become Gilberto's and Bossa Nova's White Album because its cover color and design are reminiscent of The Beatles (Apple Records, 1968), often referred to as The White Album.

In 2009 Joao Gilberto was ranked in the Top 50 Brazilian All-Time Albums by Brasil Rolling Stone magazine. Antonio Carlos Jobim wrote the first track, "Aquas de Março," in 1972, making this one of the earliest recordings of what has become a Top 5 Brazilian All-Time Song. Gilberto's version is slower paced than found on many later recordings. This might have something to do with his stream of consciousness being more mellow than the rest. Jobim's Joycean lyric is about the "Waters of March" (the end of Brazil's summer rain storms sweeping up stuff in the street, "It's a stick, it's a stone, a sliver of glass"). Gilberto's guitar and voice here are a perfect match for rain falling on Rio.

Gilberto Gil and Gaetano Veloso are among the too-many-to-mention Brazilian songwriters in this collection, along with Gilberto's song for his daughter Bebel by Miúcha. This is not the genre's most popular or well-known music, but it is essential Bossa Nova. Besides being hypnotic, Senhor Gilberto may well take you far from any pain left over from the pandemic tribulations of 2020-2021.

Track Listing

Águas de Março; Undiú; Na Baixa do Sapateiro; Avarandado; Falsa Baiana; Eu Quero um Samba; Eu Vim da Bahia; Valsa; É Preciso Perdoar; Izaura.

Personnel

Joao Gilberto: voice / vocals; Sonny Carr: percussion.

Additional Instrumentation

Joao Gilberto: guitar; Miúcha: vocals (on "Izaura").

Album information

Title: João Gilberto | Year Released: 1973 | Record Label: Polydor Records

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Afrika Love
Alchemy Sound Project
Sunday At De Ruimte
Marta Warelis / Frank Rosaly / Aaron Lumley /...
Westward Bound!
Harold Land
Tread Lightly
Trøen Arnesen Quartet
MMBC Terma
Michael Bisio / MMBC
Koki Solo
Natsuki Tamura
Colibri Rojo
Camilia Nebbia

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.