Stan Getz (with João Gilberto): Desafinado
Desafinado (1964 version)
The Girl from Ipanema: The Bossa Nova Years (Verve 823611)
Tommy Williams (bass), MIlton Banana (drums),.
Composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Newton Ferreira de Mendonça.
Recorded: New York, March 18-19, 1963
Rating: 98/100 (learn more)
Getz's 1962 recording of this composition set the bossa nova craze in motion. But I prefer this 1964 version, hands down, with its authentic Brazilian rhythm section. Authentic? Perhaps historic is a better adjective. João Gilberto invented the bossa beat, and remains its greatest exponent even after a million other guitarists have tinkered with, adapted and outright stolen his stuff. And what could be better than having the composer on piano?
Getz, for his part, makes his contribution sound so free and easy, that it's easy to under-estimate his artistry; even he made light of his achievement—introducing this song in concert as "Dis Here Finado" (an coy allusion to the funky hard bop tunes "Dat Dere" and "Dis Here"), or joking that it was the tune that would put his children through college. But can you imagine another jazz tenorist of the era who could have played this music with such perfect sensitivity to its nuances and inner emotional life? Let 'Trane have his "Giant Steps" and Rollins his late night bridge heroics; ah, but beachfront property never loses it value, and there is a stretch of it down Copacabana and Ipanema way that Getz will always own.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia