Bossa nova style of jazz is infectious
I really like certain types of jazz and classical music, although I don’t know a whole lot about jazz, and even less about classical.
With classical, I know what I like when I hear it, but I cannot usually identify the work or the composer. I am somewhat better with jazz, but not to the point of being as educated as I am with rock ‘n’ roll.
I really don’t know the difference between avante-garde, bop, free jazz, hard bop or modern creative jazz. But again, I know what I like when I hear it.
Most of what I know about jazz I learned during my first two years of college while working for a painter.
Grover Washington, Wes Montgomery, George Benson as a guitar player, Ronnie Laws, Miles Davis and John Coltrane are some of the musicians I was introduced to at that time.
However, the seeds were planted much earlier with what has come to be one of my favorite styles of jazz and the one that I can identify instantly. That is bossa nova.
I was 5 or 6 years old and had accompanied my mother to an appointment with her hairdresser, Victor, somewhere on Main Street.
I think KEXO was the radio station that was playing, and it was time for name that tune. Victor identified the song as “The Girl From Ipanema” and we called KEXO. I can’t remember if we won.
That likely was in 1964, and it was my introduction to the wonderful world of bossa nova. The album that song came from was the bossa nova classic “Getz/Gilberto” that featured three of the original innovators of the genre: Joao Gilberto on guitar, Stan Getz on saxophone and Antonio Carlos Jobim on keyboards.
“Getz/Gilberto” features several of the all-time bossa nova classics such as “Desifinado,” “Corcovado,” “So Danco Samba,” “Doralice” and “The Girl From Ipanema.”
Allmusic.com, in an explanation written by Scott Yanow, describes bossa nova as, “Influenced by West Coast jazz, in the 1950s, composer Antonio Carlos Jobim helped to form Bossa Nova, a new music that blended together gentle Brazilian rhythms and melodies with cool-toned improvising ... Joao Gilberto’s soothing voice perfectly communicated the beauty of Jobim’s music. The late ‘50s film ‘Black Orpheus’ helped introduce Jobim’s compositions to an American audience.”
In fact, in 1962, Vince Guaraldi released his classic “Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus,” which featured his versions of several songs from the film, including “Samba De Orfeu,” “Mahna De Carnival” and “O Nosso Amor” as well as Guaraldi’s “Cast Your Fate To The Wind.”
This eventually led to Guaraldi being approached by Charles Schultz to score the soundtrack for “A Boy Named Charlie Brown” that was originally going to be called “Jazz Impressions of a Boy Named Charlie Brown.”
Guaraldi’s soundtrack to “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is Triple Play’s best-selling Christmas CD in the 23 years we have been in business.
“Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus,” “Getz/Gilberto” and “Jazz Samba” from Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd are stock items at Triple Play. We sell one almost every time we are playing them in the store, which is a testament to the infectiousness of bossa nova.