Bossa Nova (Jazz Masters 53)
Unless you just need something a little more raucous, it’s hard to argue with this one. It is very nice. Tenor sax master Stan Getz teams up with all sorts of big names, such as Laurindo Almeida, Joao Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Gary Burton, Astrud Gilberto, and Luiz Bonfa (the list is long), on this compilation CD of bossa nova recordings. For the uninitiated, it is a great crash course (although crashing is not the kind of sound you hear on this relaxing recording) in bossa nova. For the lover of this Brazilian art form, it is a kiss and more.
All of the beautiful familiars are here: “Corcovado,” “So Danco Samba,” “One Note Samba,” “How Insensitive,” “Desafinado,” “Manha de Carnaval,” “Chega de Saudade”… And, of course, there’s “The Girl from Ipanema,” the sometimes-ridiculed tune because of its being overplayed and/or played badly. Getz and company (Joao Gilberto and Astrud Gilberto put in a lovely vocal performance, in Portuguese and English, respectively) remind us that there’s a reason so many people began playing it: It’s a good song when done with talent and heart.