Monday, May 14, 2012

Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd: Jazz Samba

"Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd's album Jazz Samba, which launched the bossa nova craze in the United States, celebrates its 50th anniversary this month. It was a phenomenal success after its release in April 1962 and has achieved an enduring popularity. Jazz Samba was a musical milestone and, alas, an example of musical injustice: the vital contributions of drummer Buddy Deppenschmidt and bassist Keter Betts, both part of Byrd's trio at the time, have long been downplayed. The album wouldn't have sounded the same without them, and perhaps would never have been made. Jazz Samba's first track, 'Desafinado,' is a beautiful composition by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Newton Mendonça; it opens with a compelling bass line by Betts, adds understated, intriguing percussion from Deppenschmidt and Bill Reichenbach, and then takes off with Getz's inspired, sublime sax playing. 'Desafinado' reached no. 15 on the Billboard Top Twenty chart for pop singles, stayed on the charts for sixteen weeks, and won a 'best solo jazz performance' Grammy for Getz. The album eventually made it to the no. 1 position on the Billboard pop chart, the only jazz instrumental album to have ever achieved that feat. Jazz Samba stayed on the charts for seventy weeks and sold half a million copies within eighteen months. It was more jazz than bossa, but the new sound struck a nerve. ..." (Chris McGowan, "Blame It on the Bossa Nova," Huffington Post, 4/17/12).

View catalog record here!