Ok, the rock revival’s over. Back to bossa nova.

Antonio Carlos Jobim: 'Stone Flower' (CD; Epic; 1970)
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I know this has recently been reissued on a remastered CD; mine is the 1990 epic one. I must confess to not really 'getting' this album the first few times I heard it. I'd heard that this was even better than Tide and Wave, but it kind of passed me by.

Anyway, today, I finally got it. As you could figure from my site, and the fact that I make a lot of compilations, I'm someone who normally picks on individual tracks and devours them repeatedly. You can't really do that with this album. It's subtle and beautiful, and unusually for me, I found myself really only appreciating the record when listening to the whole thing in one sitting. There are some memorable melodies, notably 'tereza my love' and 'children's games', but the album really builds beautifully, and the extended (almost 10-minute) vocal version of the Barroso classic 'Brazil' makes perfect sense within the context of the album.

Joao Gilberto: 'The Boss of Bossa Nova' (LP; Atlantic; 1961)
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I have very little Brazilian music on vinyl, and most of what I do have is early American issues. This is a nice album, released by Atlantic in 1962. The cover, with Gilberto's head filling the circle in the middle of the Brazilian flag, clearly marks this as a record dating to the huge bossa nova craze that followed the sucess of Charlie Byrd and Stan Getz's Jazz Samba.

Unlike the records of Marcos Valle, The girls from Bahia, Sylvia Telles, Maria Toledo, and many more, this album doesn't seem to be that hard to come by. I recommend it highly anyway. It's a reissue of material recorded in Rio for Odeon records, and is a mixture of now well-known Brazilian standards by people like Caymmi, Jobim, and Menescal (e.g. samba da minha terra, barquinho, amor em paz, voce a eu, insensatez) and a few more that I hadn't heard before. Many of the tracks feature just Gilberto's voice and guitar, but he's joined on a few tracks by Walter Wanderley and his group.

Since I hear watered-down takes on bossa nova everywhere I go these days (in stores, on tv, everywhere), it's nice to have the opportunity to hear it as people heard it in the early sixties.

Bolinha de Papel
Samba da Minha Terra
Saudade da Bahia
A Primeira Vez
Amor em Paz
Voce e Eu
Trenzinho (Trem de Ferro)
Presente de Natal
Coisa Mais Linda
Este Seu Olhar

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