Having a good week so far since a friend emailed me with free tickets to the Further show at the Greek tonight…and its been a while since I’ve seen the Dead. And who doesn’t enjoy a miracle ticket?
Moving right along, chalk these albums up on the list of great things I have found in the bargain bin at the record store.
I had found the first volume Charlie Byrd and Stan Getz – Jazz Samba some months before, liked it and was eager to digest the sequel. The Byrd/Getz dynamic in the first volume is a great example an album that began a musical movement in the 60s. Charlie had traveled to Brazil and became completely enamored with the place and it’s music…so much so that upon his return he sat down with Stan Getz and some very talented session players and recorded an album of Brazilian tunes that would start the bossa nova craze.
It’s a great album, and one that begs to be listened to all the way through every time…with hits like Desafinado and Bahia standing out, although not so much that you’ll want to skip ahead to reach them. Let it transport you away to a magical beach on a tropical isle at sunset, where waves of melancholy coolness wash over you in the torchlight.
That, and the album really lets the light shine on Getz as one of the greatest sax men ever.
But Getz wasn’t finished, and two years later returned with “Jazz Samba Encore” featuring Luiz Bonfa, Maria Toledo and the incomparable Antonio Carlos Jobim.
Where the original album was bright and dynamic, “Encore” feels much softer in comparison…but not in a bad way. The addition of some real Brazilian stars to the line-up definitely changed the flavor of the work, but it remains as solid as it’s predecessor if not better. Getz simply took this album back to it’s roots and the quality really shows.
With it’s even greater ethereal tropical sound, “Encore” continues the journey down roads only hinted at in the first volume. Sometimes I like to have both these albums on a loop at my place while I cook…because even on loop they never get old or tired. I like ‘Saudabe vem correndo ” myself and the track above, ‘O morro nao tem vez.” So if you like jazz, bossa nova or brazillian tunes…or maybe you’re just a Stan Getz fan and don’t have these. Well, now’s your chance.
Here’s another sparkling jazz album that will go well with your next poolside cocktail party. I know most people will have no idea who Paul Desmond is, which is why it’s such a joy to let the cat out of the bag here.
Paul was lead saxophone for the Dave Brubeck Quartet through the 50′s and 60′s before he finally decided to strike out on his own.
Something that sounds like Stan Getz and a dry martini on sax. This video below is for a song called Bossa Antigua, which isn’t on this album, but there doesn’t seem to be any videos of songs that were. This has basically the same flavor though!
Luckily, at the time A&M and it’s Verve offshoot label CTI were in the midst of putting out a slew of amazing jazz albums at the same time and picked up Mr Desmond.
The new label collaboration was already getting a lot of buzz, not just for the artists they featured, but for the artists they chose to back them. “From the Hot Afternoon” is no exception with Sergio Mendes and the Don Sebresky orchestra providing a lush Brazilian themed backdrop for Desmond’s sly saxophone work.
Luckily there were a slew of A&M/CTI reissues in the last few years that brought nearly forgotten gems like this to light. You can find it at most online retailers. If you like Bossa Nova, Jobim, Brubeck, Mendes or any combination of the list…do yourself a favor and check it out.
Here’s another track from Paul in the same vein… Samba Cepeda. Not on the album, but you could search for his Bossa Antigua album and get that too! I won’t stop you!