Which is your favorite Stan Getz Bossa Nova album on Verve?

  • Jazz Samba (1962)

    Votes: 4 80.0%
  • Big Band Bossa Nova (1962)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Jazz Samba Encore (1963)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Stan Getz with Laurindo Almeida (1963)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Getz/Gilberto (1964)

    Votes: 1 20.0%

  • Total voters
    5

Rudy

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There were five albums Bossa Nova albums that Stan Getz recorded for Verve within a short amount of time. Which one is your favorite, or, how would you rank them in order? The poll can cover your favorite, but rankings and opinions are welcome.

Note that I have excluded the Getz/Gilberto #2 album. it is a live gig at Carnegie Hall, and aside from the bonus track on one of the CD releases, Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto do not even appear together on the record. Getz's album Getz au Go Go is also omitted from the poll, even though Astrud Gilberto appears on it. It is usually not considered a part of the "core five" of albums.

Albums are listed in release order, but note that Stan Getz with Laurindo Almeida was recorded two days after the sessions for Getz/Gilberto, but Verve and Creed Taylor sat on that album for a bit allegedly so the sales would not draw from each other.
 

Rudy

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I gave Jazz Samba the nod for favorite pick. Honestly, #1 and #2 are nose to nose, although I give a nod to #1 for its historical significance and non-stop energy. My ranking and notes:
  1. Jazz Samba, with Charlie Byrd. This was the original album that made the jazz world sit up and take notice, especially since it starts with "Desafinado's" infectious beat. It's lively throughout, even the downtempo numbers.
  2. Stan Getz with Laurindo Almeida. This one I like for the same reasons. "Minina Moca" and "Outra Vez" are two standouts.
  3. Jazz Samba Encore, with Luiz Bonfa. Same reasons again, maybe not quite as much energy and a touch darker, but the change in guitarists again makes for some nice variety, and Maria Toledo provides mostly wordless vocals here. The "Two Note Samba" ("Samba de Duas Notas") is probably my favorite track on the album.
  4. Getz/Gilberto, with Joao Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim. I have issues with this album, mainly Getz's incessant blaring throughout. In the preceding albums, he is usually buried more in the mix, and I skip the quieter songs if his tenor gets on my nerves. On this one, I wish he'd just sit out--the soft-spoken, low-energy voice and guitar of Joao Gilberto and gentle piano stylings of Jobim do not meld well with Getz honking away all the time. I've always felt it's a poor pairing of musicians on this record. Although with all its flaws, it really knocked Bossa Nova into the mainstream, with "Girl from Ipanema" making it almost all the way to the top of the charts.
  5. Big Band Bossa Nova, with arrangements by Gary McFarland. No. Just...no. I think I've tried three or four times in my life to listen to this one all the way through and it's a painful experience. An awkward, disappointing failure, in my tarnished opinion. It doesn't help that rather than have authentic Brazilian compositions, many are penned by McFarland, whose idea of Bossa Nova seemed to be tossing a forgettable melody in front of a samba beat.
 

JOv2

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My ranking and opinions are about 75% aligned with Rudy's. I would only add that for Jazz Samba, I was never really comfortable -- for lack of a better word -- with Charlie Byrd's playing: he doesn't really have the feel of Brazilian guitar -- then again, to be fair to Byrd, the LP isn't a Brazilian album per se, it is a "jazz" album. On Getz/Gilberto, I don't really notice Stan's playing style as being a detriment; so, I'll have to give a back-to-back run against one of the other albums to get a better feel for the style issue. (Perhaps one of his other personalities showed up for the session that day. From Wikipedia: "Zoot Sims, who had known Getz since their time with Herman, once described him as "a nice bunch of guys", alluding to the wide range of his personality".)
 

Rudy

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Getz on Getz/Gilberto reminds me of that loudmouth aunt who can't keep her mouth shut at a quiet funeral. Totally ruins the enjoyment of that album for me--I shouldn't be jumping out of my skin every time he picks up that damn horn. If my #5 wasn't such a dud of an album, this one would have ranked dead last.
 

Bobberman

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I voted for Jazz Samba ( I also have the Getz Gilberto CD) I enjoy the collaboration between Getz and Byrd. And all instrumental For me The Getz Gilberto was more of a Vocal album and I didn't have a problem with Getz's solos on there ( probably because either I heard so many blaring solos that Rudy described I got used to it or I probably hear things a bit differently than others but no big deal though) it's all a matter of personal taste and preferences
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Getz on Getz/Gilberto reminds me of that loudmouth aunt who can't keep her mouth shut at a quiet funeral.
🤣 (Great imagery, Rudy.)


Getz... Totally ruins the enjoyment of that album for me--I shouldn't be jumping out of my skin every time he picks up that damn horn. If my #5 wasn't such a dud of an album, this one would have ranked dead last
There are definitely some like-minded posters on this subject out on the Hoffman board. I think Creed would have done well to not close-mic and/or push Stan back a bit in the mix. His tone isn't a smooth-dry texture like Desmond -- so it's more disruptive against the Brazilian artists. I would consider the following tenorists as perhaps offering more "cohesive sensitivity" to the proceedings: Dexter Gordon or Yusef Lateef; of the younger players of the day, Wayne Shorter, Stanley Turrentine or Hank Mobley.
 

Rudy

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I think Getz was the default choice due to Jazz Samba which broke the ground, and also being a Verve artist. Paul Winter also had some early Bossa Nova albums but I don't think they did much sales-wise, and I can't think of any others around 1962 who were playing in that style.

Turrentine's tone could be a bit strong also, but not as jarring. Getz played with a hard reed, which explains his brash tone at times--hard reeds are very difficult to play quietly. In later years he mellowed. Ike Quebec had the low-key tone for it, as he demonstrated on his own Bossa Nova-themed album. But perhaps his style might have been just a little too sleepy.

Paul Desmond also played with a hard reed, but was always able to keep his tone tamed down. I like what Desmond did on From the Hot Afternoon with the post-Bossa tunes on there, and now I'm wondering how he would have performed with some of the early Bossa Nova artists. I do know he was fussy--in Brubeck's bio, I recall that Desmond would sit out if he didn't like the tune. And that he was also not fond of drummers, which could actually be a bit disastrous in some Brazilian music.

Joao Gilberto was about the "softest" Bossa Nova person out there--his vocals were never much louder than gentle speaking, and his guitar certainly didn't project much either. I agree, too--it could be just as much an error in production or engineering as it was a lack of Getz holding back on that recording. He is loud on the other albums but at least he blends in more. Even on the Columbia album with Gilberto, there are a couple of tunes that are wincingly loud when he steps up to the mic. But he seems to be mixed a bit better on that one overall.

I'll try to refrain from calling him "Auntie." 😁

Oh, and in Ruy Castro's book Bossa Nova, even he called out Getz for his loud playing. (I forget the words he used, but for some reason "outbursts" comes to mind.)
 

Rudy

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Before I sign off, here's the passage from Ruy Castro's book. It wasn't "outbursts." 😁

The recording of the Getz/Gilberto album was not as peaceful as its fantastic eight tracks make it out to have been. Getz, whose normal interaction with humankind at the time was after three or four shots, was a little slow in all other regards. A few days after the concert at Carnegie Hall, they had all met for the first time—Getz, Jobim, João Gilberto, and producer Creed Taylor from Verve—in the Rehearsal Hall at Carnegie Hall. They wanted to sound out the possibilities of an album. João played and sang “One Note Samba” with Jobim on piano, to show Getz how it should be. Getz had already recorded the song on the album he had released the year before, Jazz Samba, with Charlie Byrd, but had never gotten it quite right. And by the look of things, he still wasn’t getting it.​
Struggling with his impatience and rebellious locks of hair, Jobim told the American photographer David Drew Zingg, a mutual friend of his and of Creed Taylor, who had been the one to introduce the two of them, “David, run down to the deli on the corner and buy the man a bottle of whiskey. Maybe he’ll loosen up.”​
Getz loosened up. The experience of playing bossa nova with Brazilian musicians intimidated him. On Jazz Samba, for example, he used two American drummers, Buddy Deppenschmidt and Bill Reichenbach, and they almost appeared to be suffering from lumbago when compared to Milton Banana’s swinging elasticity. But the two stars of the record didn’t always treat each other quite so courteously. As quietly as João Gilberto wanted to sing, Getz insisted on blowing as if he had a pair of giant bellows for lungs, or as if the microphone were deaf. (Later, João Gilberto also complained that Getz re-equalized the record and made his saxophone sound even higher, in order to remain in the foreground the entire time.) The two of them were also unable to come to an agreement in choosing the definitive take from among the several recordings of each song, and Creed Taylor was forced to settle the issue. It was a miracle that the eight tracks were recorded in just two days (March 18 and 19, 1963), including “Garota de Ipanema” with Astrud Gilberto.​
 
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JOv2

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Ike! Yes -- not a bad suggestion (to your point he did cut Bossa Nova Soul Samba in OCT62 at that). Oh, and the more I think about it, Joe Henderson -- is definitely the man for this sort of thing. He penned both Mamacita and Recorda-me in '63.
 

Moritat

Well-Known Member
"Jazz Samba", what else? Every cut is excellent, and the moody cool "Samba Triste" is a masterpiece!
 

lj

Well-Known Member
Zoot Sims was correct in describing the Stan Getz personality. Getz was a lifetime addict--first hard drugs and later hard booze. I once read in the Internet that when he was dying of cancer he finally mellowed and asked for forgiveness for all the pain and suffering he inflicted on so many people in his life. And so it was inevitable that Gilberto a mild mannered and fussy individual (for example Ruy Castro wrote that the crease in his pants had like to be perfect for the placement of his guitar before he would play) would clash with Getz. As Ruy Castro wrote--Gilberto hated Getz loud sax playing. He had a good point, as the classic Bossa Nova style invented by Joao himself was meant to be played softly. I believe the lighter sounding flute is far superior for Bossa accompaniment than the sax. Listen the the great Bossa Nova recordings, such as those by Jobim, and you will hear the flute effectively backing up the guitar or piano.

In Getz/Gilberto album each song started with the splendid vocal and guitar playing. and typically towards the end of the song in came the sax. And so may times I had wished the sax had never entered into the arrangement.

Gilberto's go-to drummer was the legendary Milton Banana. Milton played with the same familiar Bossa Nova syncopation as Joao had on his guitar, Milton Banana played softly and his drumming never got in the way of Gilberto's intimate song interpretations. It was Banana who backed up Joao at the Carnegie Hall concert.
 

Rudy

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That was my complaint as I started listening to Getz/Gilberto more often a couple of decades ago. Enjoyed the tunes until the sax came in. If I have to cringe when the music starts, it's time to skip to the next track.

Getz does fit in better with the more upbeat tracks, which is why he can blow on the other albums and it doesn't stand out like a sore thumb.

What really perplexes me is that Stanley Turrentine is not a quiet player either, yet I don't mind him at all. Maybe it's just the settings he plays in, or that his overall playing style isn't so "in your face" like Getz's can be. Turrentine's tone is also a bit brighter and not quite so breathy; the hard reeds that Getz used were a major part of his over-the-top sound (a hard reed is harder to make a tone with, and to control, unless you're overblowing to overcome it...that's exactly what I heard in his playing back then). Turrentine uses a softer reed--his combination of reed, mouthpiece and embouchure (as it is with any player) determined his tone, and his combination was such that he could play loud without being so forceful all the time.

Likewise, Paul Desmond, as I mentioned before, also played with a harder reed. Perhaps not as hard as Getz's, or maybe due to the different mouthpiece, his tone had a similar character in some respects, but he didn't have to overblow to get his tone out.

When I was playing, I remember the time a group of us headed down to a professional music studio and tried several jazz mouthpieces. They were as different as night and day. Some were brassy, some were hard to blow, some were squirrelly, quite the gamut. I never liked the metal mouthpieces, but there were times I just preferred to play the boring old Selmer C** (double-star) since it was so predictable and consistent.
 
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