October 7, 2021- Today's Topic: Bossa Nova
Prior to the success of Bossa Nova in the nineteen sixties, most popular latin styles in the United States had been linked to popular dances: The Tango, Rhumba, Mambo and the Cha
Bossa Nova was the marriage of American jazz and the samba rhythm from Brazil and based on musical concepts not related to a specific dance style.
The roots of Bossa Nova happened in Los Angeles in 1953 when Bud Shank, Laurindo Almeida, Roy Harte and Harry Babasin experimented with Samba Rhythms at Harte’s Drum
City Music Shop. Alamieda and Shank had been together on Stan Kenton’s band a few years earlier.
They experimented with adding samba rhythms to some of Laurindo’s melodies and it resulted in several groundbreaking albums released on Pacific Jazz. It didn’t have a huge impact in the United States at the time but a number of young musicians in Brazil coveted those records along with other west coast artists including Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker.
One of those young Brazilians was Antonio Carlos Jobim. It was Jobim along with Joao Gilberto who became the key figures of Bossa Nova.
During a 1961 tour, guitarist Charlie Byrd heard this music in Brazil and told Stan Getz about it when he returned. They went into the studio in 1962 and recorded an album called Jazz
Samba which became a huge hit in the United States. It launched the Bossa Nova craze in this country and opened the door for Jobim, Gilberto and his wife Astrud Gilberto to introduce
Bossa Nova to the world.
The music has been largely defined by the compositions of Jobim who left a legacy of over 300 songs including Desafinado, One Note Samba, Corcovado, Wave and The Girl from Ipanema.
Bossa Nova was so popular in the early sixties that almost every jazz artist made a bossa nova album or at the very least recorded a bossa nova tune.