If you love bossa nova, you have Antonio Carlos Jobim to thank. Bossa nova, roughly translated as “new style”, is the “sway from side to side” kind of music, as opposed to jazz, which is more “forward and back”. To this day, when I hear bossa nova, my Pavlovian response (when it comes to the fabulous side of things) is to don a little black dress, let my hair down, mess it up a little, and toss some ice into a tumbler and fix myself a drink. Cocktails were very much a part of the early 1960’s when bossa nova hit the States, before becoming a global phenomenon.
Jobim became famous when he teamed up with American jazz saxophonist Stan Getz, Brazilian singer Joao Gilberto, and his wife at the time, Astrud Gilberto. The album, “Getz/Gilberto” kicked off the bossa nova craze, and won 1965 Grammy for “Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group” and “Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical”. The now-legendary song “Girl from Ipanema” was recorded for this album by Astrud Gilberto, and inspired by Helo Penheiro, who walked by a beach in Ipanema every day. The song won “Record of the Year” and has since been covered by Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Diana Krall, Amy Winehouse, and many others.
Here is the original version of “The Girl from Ipanema”, sung by Astrud Gilberto. Part of the reason I chose this video was the glorious early ‘60’s TV set.
Antonio Carlos Jobim was born on January 25, 1927 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and died December 8, 1994, in New York City, United States of America.