joshuakennedy

What are your favorite jazz bossa nova albums?

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Now for the real jazz-bossa nova stuff, here is a list of the albums I know of (there are probably more out there, since everyone made his own bossa nova album in the early sixties)

 

For starters, the ones that more or less completely miss the point:

- Duke Ellington "Afro bossa". Clearly not bossa nova !

- Miles Davis "Quiet Nights". You would think that Miles' dreamy trumpet and Gil Evans sohpisticated arrangements would thrive with bossa nova, right ? No wonder no one mentions this album when speaking about Miles...To me, this is an awkward compromise between Miles' style and bossa nova and for that reason it is not satisfying.

- Paul Winter Sextet "Jazz meets the bossa nova". Clearly not bad, but no one ever takes a solo here, so it does not qualify as jazz. A bit easy.

- Charlie Rouse "Bossa Nova Bacchanal". Overall a good album, but bossa nova is mixed with afro-cuban and calypso melodies, which give a little "pot pourri" impression

 

The original jazz bossa nova material that everone tried to copy...

- Getz & Byrd "Jazz Samba". Byrd's fast and incisive style constrasts so well with Stan's mellow tone.

- Getz/Gilberto. The holy grail: Gilberto's soft singing is in perfect harmony with Getz's solos

 

The copies...

- Getz's many sequels "Jazz Samba encore", "Big band bossa nova", "Best of two worlds"...etc. Overall quite good but not as good as the two above. Sometimes you have to know when to stop...

- Coleman Hawkins "Desafinado". I have trouble not falling asleep listening to this one, nothing much happens here that wasn't heard somewhere else.

- Kenny Burell "Lotsa bossa nova". This one too is a bit tiresome, the comparison with other bossa nova guitar players are not very favourable to Burell (Hall, Byrd)

- Lionel Hampton "Bossa nova jazz". Minimalist title and programme. What more can be said ? It's cool to hear vibes on bossa, but that's about it.

 

The creative ones, who decided to add a little something to stand out:

- Herbie Mann "Do the bossa nova with Herbie Mann" & "Brazil, bossa nova and blues". Mann did not go the easy way and travelled to Rio to record with local musicians the first one (including Jobim and Mendes !) and the result is authentic yet jazzy bossa nova. The second was recorded a bit earlier and feature vibraphone and guitar on mostly famous tunes, for a good result. Those two will satisfy purists of bossa nova style and those interested to hear something else than a mellow saxophone...

- Cannonball Adderley "Cannonball's bossa nova". Recorded with Sergio Mendes' group, this one features mostly original tunes and the group devilers really authentic bossa nova. Cannonball is at his best, but his playing remains more bluesy than bossa nova...some may find this is a complete mismatch, while some will enjoy the contrast.

- Almeida & Shank "Brazilliance vol. 1 and 2". This is not really bossa nova (it was recorded before bossa nova was created) but it has a strong brazilian flavour nonetheless and most of the ingredients are here. Still, there's somehting a bit different that makes it stand out. Note : Shank did another one later with Fischer that would fall in the previous copy category

- Dave Bruebeck "Bossa nova USA". Perhaps a bit too creative... it's not pure bossa, nor pure jazz...and gives me mixed feelings in the end

- Ike Quebec "Soul Samba". A perfect combination of bossa nova with a more bluesy sound. Burell's guitar is a real plus here.

- Paul Desmond (with Jim Hall) "Take Ten" and "Bossa Nova Antigua". To me, this is the greatest achivement in jazz bossa nova: Paul's dreamy, very light way of blowing in his alto combined with Hall's ethereal sound gets as close to bossa nova nirvana as it gets. In addition, most of the tunes here are original creations. Note: Desmond did two more with larger ensembles "Summertime" and "From the hot afternoon" which spoils the fun IMO.

 

 

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I'm really enjoying this cd:

bossarenova-trio_samba-preludio_2013_.jp

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I also love this one. If this isn't bossa nova jazz, what is?

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Jaques-Morelenbaum-Cello-Samba-Trio.jpg

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Thanks for the Morelenbaum(s) recommendation, this is quite a different approach to bossa that is welcome.

I just tried her "Berimbau" album, the title song is magnificiently interpreted. Perhaps a bit too much of eletronic effects, but the whole is still very satisfying.

Will check the others you recommend ASAP.

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Yes, and if you haven't heard them try these (no electronica):

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For the Baden Powell fans, I forgot to mention the two discs he did with Stephane Grapelli "La Grande Reunion" vol. 1 and 2.

Jazz interpretations of bossa nova standards. Grapelli is a bit more present than Baden and takes more solos.

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I listened to some of Morelenbaum's songs on YouTube.  Quite nice. 

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On 5/31/2017 at 1:19 PM, jazzbo said:

I agree, I'm a Nara fan and this is a great album.

51U66E8ZdwL.jpg

Oh my goodness! This is beautiful! Finally got my copy in the mail from Universal Japan. This one's going to get a lot of "spins."

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albums....

BRASAMBA  -   Bud Shank

JAZZ SAMBA  -   Getz / Byrd

GAROTA DE IPANEMA  -   Nara Leao

WE AND THE SEA  -   Tamba 4

BRAZILIAN HEART  -   April Aloisio

DES ANOS DEPOIS   -  Nara Leao

GETZ / GILBERTO   -  first lp on verve

 

Individual Songs...

DESIFINADO   -  Lisa Ono

ESA MOCA TA DIFFERENTE   -  Chico Buarque

SE E TARDE ME PERDOA  -   Carlos Lyra & Paul Winter

DEXIA   -  Lisa Ono

CHEGA DE SAUDADE   -  Nara Leao

SAMBA TRISTE   -  Getz / Byrd

ELIZETE   -  Cal Tjader

 

I'm surprised BRASAMBA hasn't been mentioned as yet. Great bossa nova lp by Shank & Clare Fischer on Pacific Jazz

bra bra.jpg

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On June 7, 2017 at 6:40 AM, tartine78 said:

- Paul Winter Sextet "Jazz meets the bossa nova". Clearly not bad, but no one ever takes a solo here, so it does not qualify as jazz. A bit easy.

This is actually a fairly important and somewhat overlooked album from the early bossa era.  It dates from 1962, when not many bossa (or quasi-bossa) albums were readily available in the US.  (Black Orpheus came out in the US in 1959 or 1960; Jobim's The Composer of Desifinado album was released in 1963.)  Winter had gone on a state department tour that included Brasil and made a sincere attempt at playing bossa, as opposed to simply cashing in.  And rather than going for the obvious Jobim/Gilberto songbook, he records tunes by Roberto Menescal, Carlos Lyra, Dorival San Caymmi, and others whose music was not readily available outside of Brasil.  It must have been the first time that (North) Americans were exposed to some of these tunes.  I have no idea how it sold, but based on the numbers I've encountered in the used bins over the years, someone must have bought it.  

In this context, it is worth noting the numbers of actual Brazilian albums that were available in the US during this period.  Atlantic had released one of Joao Gilberto's early Odeon LPs, and Capitol had released another.  Audio Fidelity released a few actual Brazilian albums also.  But in general, North Americans had limited access to this stuff. 

Also, I would not get hung up on the lack of soloing.  Blowing was never a part of what bossa is about, and even within jazz "proper," there are albums and compositions where the emphasis is on mood, texture, arrangements, and the ensemble sound, rather than soloing.  

Anyway, this Paul Winter album is really an important piece of the U.S. bossa puzzle, along with key recordings by Herbie Mann, Charlie Byrd, and Stan Getz.

 

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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On 8/24/2016 at 0:54 PM, Jim R said:

This is just one of several threads here about Brazilian music.  I hope that the newer members won't overlook the opportunity to read through the past discussions linked below.  

I generally feel that the "fusion" of bossa nova and jazz was much more proficient and exciting in Brazil in the 60's than it was in the U.S.  In other words, the Brazilians who could understand and incorporate jazz into bossa nova outshined the Americans trying to understand and incorporate bossa nova into jazz*.  For me, it was never in doubt once I really began to investigate and study and collect Brazilian music.  Rhythm was the key.  

Someone said that it was hard for Americans to find Brazilian records back in the day.  No doubt true, and in some ways they have never become very easy to find.  The internet helped a great deal of course, but there were still many recordings that remain(ed) hard to find.  It seems that many people still don't know about some of the great jazz-influenced recordings that were made in Brazil in the early to mid-60's.

* Just look at the first few posts in the "Hard Bossa" thread below to find numerous great Brazilian groups who get overlooked at the expense of the usual focus on the big names like Getz, Herbie Mann, Bud Shank, etc etc etc.  I suppose that some people assume that the quality of the Brazilian groups is inferior because they never became as famous as the American jazz artists (Sergio Mendes being one exception).

 

 

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2 hours ago, Jim R said:

I generally feel that the "fusion" of bossa nova and jazz was much more proficient and exciting in Brazil in the 60's than it was in the U.S.  In other words, the Brazilians who could understand and incorporate jazz into bossa nova outshined the Americans trying to understand and incorporate bossa nova into jazz*.  For me, it was never in doubt once I really began to investigate and study and collect Brazilian music.  Rhythm was the key.

Completely agree with that argument.

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On September 14, 2017 at 4:21 PM, Bluesnik said:

Completely agree with that argument.

It stands to reason.  Jazz was already a component of bossa, but bossa was not already a component of jazz. 

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On 12/09/2017 at 7:51 PM, Deadman said:

I'm surprised BRASAMBA hasn't been mentioned as yet. Great bossa nova lp by Shank & Clare Fischer on Pacific Jazz

bra bra.jpg

And even more surprised it hasn't seen a reissue in all those years. I think it was reissued by Freshsound, but no legit reissue. At least that I know of. Recommended.

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It was released by EMI Japan as a cd in '13. Great session.

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3 hours ago, Bluesnik said:

And even more surprised it hasn't seen a reissue in all those years. I think it was reissued by Freshsound, but no legit reissue. At least that I know of. Recommended.

I have the Japanese CD reissue that Lon speaks of. It sounds very nice. Unfortunately, it's short (~34 minutes) but there's some nice music in those 34 minutes.

Edit: We discussed these Japanese Latin Jazz CD reissues in this thread:

There were 8 titles:

Cannonball Adderley 'The Happy People' (Capitol),TOCJ-66621

Guitars Unlimited 'Quiet Nights & Brazilian Guitars' (Capitol), TOCJ-66622

Stan Kenton 'Artistry in Bossa Nova' (Capitol), TOCJ-66623

Sergio Mendes/Wanda De Sah 'Brasil '65' (Capitol), TOCJ-66624

Wanda De Sah 'Softly' (Capitol), TOCJ-66625

Clare Fischer 'Manteca!' (Pacific Jazz), TOCJ-66626

Bud Shank & Clare Fischer 'Bossa Nova Jazz Samba' (Pacific Jazz), TOCJ-66627

Bud Shank/Clare Fischer/Joe Pass 'Brasamba' (Pacific Jazz), TOCJ-66628

Edited by Kevin Bresnahan

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7 hours ago, Kevin Bresnahan said:

Edit: We discussed these Japanese Latin Jazz CD reissues in this thread:

Thanks

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One of my favourites is disc 1 of the Onzy Matthews Mosaic Select. Can't believe that session (from 1963) wasn't released at the time.

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Sinatra's last great album, IMHO:

 

Sinatra.jpg

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R-928120-1401988502-4226.jpeg.jpgR-5600053-1401993535-3006.jpeg.jpg

The latter CD has two LPs, the second being this, which has tremendous groove.

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