Artist: Stan Getz, Charlie Byrd
Title: Jazz Samba
Release Date: 1962
Quality: High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Label: Analogue Productions (Verve)
Mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound from the original analog master tapes to vinyl and PCM. The DSD was sourced from the PCM. George listened to all of the different A/D converters he had before he chose which to use, and he felt the George Massenburg GML 20 bit A/D produced the best and most synergistic sound for the project.
The words “bossa nova” are often synonymous with the name Stan Getz. But North Americans might not have ever known the bright sound of bossa nova had it not been for Charlie Byrd. In 1961 Byrd returned from a tour of South America, where bossa nova music was thriving. The style was the invention of singer Joao Gilberto and songwriter Antonio Carlos Jobim — an adaptation of infectious Brazilian samba rhythms with the harmonic structures and “cool” surface of West Coast jazz. Byrd brought back records for Getz to hear, they planned a session, and the result was Jazz Samba — the first album of true bossa nova music by jazz artists and the one that broke the bossa nova wave in 1960s America.
Partly because of its Brazilian collaborators and partly because of “The Girl From Ipanema,” Getz/Gilberto is nearly always acknowledged as the Stan Getz bossa nova LP. But Jazz Samba is just as crucial and groundbreaking; after all, it came first, and in fact was the first full-fledged bossa nova album ever recorded by American jazz musicians. And it was just as commercially successful, topping the LP charts and producing its own pop chart hit single in “Desafinado.” It was the true beginning of the bossa nova craze, and introduced several standards of the genre (including Ary Barroso’s “Bahia” and Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Desafinado” and “Samba de Uma Nota S” [aka “One Note Samba”]). But above all, Jazz Samba stands on its own artistic merit as a shimmering, graceful collection that’s as subtly advanced — in harmony and rhythm — as it is beautiful. Getz and his co-billed partner, guitarist Charlie Byrd — who was actually responsible for bringing bossa nova records to the U.S. and introducing Getz to the style — have the perfect touch for bossa nova’s delicate, airy texture. For his part, Byrd was one of the first American musicians to master bossa nova’s difficult, bubbling syncopations, and his solos are light and lilting. Meanwhile, Getz’s playing is superb, simultaneously offering a warm, full tone and a cool control of dynamics; plus, Byrd’s gently off-kilter harmonies seem to stimulate Getz’s melodic inventiveness even more than usual. But beyond technique, Getz intuitively understands the romanticism and the undercurrent of melancholy inherent in the music, and that’s what really made Jazz Samba such a revelatory classic. Absolutely essential for any jazz collection. ~~ AllMusic Review by Steve Huey
01 – Desafinado
02 – Samba Dees Days
03 – O Pato
04 – Samba Triste
05 – Samba de Uma Nota S
06 -E Luxo S
07 – Bahia (aka ‘Baia’)