Hmm, my database is playing up today (or at least the table in which I store my record reviews is). So I’m sorry if you’re seeing a bunch of error messages. I did actually review Astrud Gilberto’s ‘windy’ today, but I’m not sure if you can see it.
Astrud Gilberto: 'Windy' (LP; Polygram; 1968)
I'm a deeply childish person, and I'm also from England, so I hope you don't mind me indulging in some toilet humour. This album cover amuses me because not only is the album called 'Windy', but Astrud is also looking rather sheepish, as if she has spent the last few minutes releasing a series of deadly chuffs. Hence her new nickname, 'Windy'.
Ok, now that's over with, to the album. It's a jaunty pop vocal album, which apparently was pretty much ignored at the time, like Astrud's other late 60s verve albums. I can see why to a certain extent - the song choices are rather generic, and Astrud's delivery is annoying rather than charming on some tracks. Still, overall I still like this a lot, if not quite as much as 'I haven't got anything better to do' and 'September 17, 1969'.
The opening track, 'Dreamy' is a nice Eumir Deodato-arranged pop song, written by Luiz Bonfa. It's a little lightweight, but fun. However, her version of Marcos Valle's 'Chup, chup, I got away' ('gente') is really rather excruciating. 'Never my love', another Association song is nice enough. I've just heard the song too many times, you know... Plus, Della Reese's version is better.
Astrud had a few things in common with Claudine Longet, I'd say. As well as some very similar albums with similar songs and similar production, they both seem to have had an obsession with slipping songs with children onto their albums. Here Astrud takes on 'Bare Necessities' with the help of her son Marcelo. Although some days I smile when I hear it, let's face it, this is pretty dreadful. The title track, 'Windy' is good (I've actually never heard a bad version of 'Windy', twee as it is), with a cool arrangement and a nice funky beat.
'Sing me a Rainbow' suffers from a poor delivery by Astrud. Am I being cruel today? Listen to this and tell me if you agree. I love her voice normally, and find it utterly charming, but on a few of these late 60s recordings, she really sucks.
In my opinion, the Beatles track 'in my life' is a pretty crazy choice of song to cover, in view of the intensity of the original. Astrud doesn't manage to evoke such intensity, but it's actually a pleasant enough baroque-pop take on the song, with a neo-classical, harpsichord-laden arrangement.
The Marcos Valle song 'Crickets sing for Anamaria' ('os grilos') fares better than her version of 'gente', but the vocal delivery is still poor, frankly; the track is rescued by a cool Eumir Deodato arrangement.