Joćo Gilberto: Chega de Saudade


Chega de Saudade


JoĆ£o Gilberto (guitar, vocals)


The Legendary Joćo Gilberto (World Pacific 93891)

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JoĆ£o Gilberto (guitar, vocals),

with unidentified band directed by Antonio Carlos Jobim


Composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim


Recorded: Brazil, July 10, 1958


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

It seemed the whole nation of Brazil got involved in celebrating the recent 50th anniversary of bossa nova. And much of the rest of the world joined in on the festivities. It's a shame that no one thought to make the music available on CD. Some bureaucratic-legal black hole keeps the landmark 1958-1961 Joćo Gilberto tracks—which literally represent the birth of the bossa nova—off the market. But I was fortune to secure a copy before the music gestapo showed up to stop the fun.

If you ever find a CD of the early Joćo Gilberto recordings, grab it. I love this music passionately, even given all the unnecessary accompaniment that Jobim brought along to "package" his phenomenal find. No one—I repeat no one—has ever sung with more a relaxed, conversational style. Miles Davis (who rarely paid idle compliments) said it best: Joćo "would sound good reading a phone book." Gilberto's guitar beat has proven to be as influential as his vocal style, and harder to imitate than you might guess from listening to its carefree pulse. The cool aesthetic in music may have been invented in the U.S., but Jobim and Gilberto brought a new twist on it that taught the Yankees a thing or two. Four years would elapse before the U.S. market discovered this sound, but when they found it, they didn't need to know a word of Portuguese to realize that something special had been hatching down in Rio.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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