Stan Getz & João Gilberto featuring Antônio Carlos Jobim - Getz / Gilberto (1964), 6/10

João Gilberto in particular, along with Antonio Carlos Jobim, truly leads this effort while Getz accentuates their performances with flourishes of smooth, romantic saxophone, as well as Astrud Gilberto with her soft vocal performances that feature outstanding technicality. Prevailing stories tell us that Astrud’s vocals resulted from João’s incapability to speak English, but regardless of the facts, the record is better for this substitution. Her delivery is exceptional and breaks up an otherwise somewhat uniform delivery to become more entertainingly diverse. Ironically, or perhaps poetically, one of the least impactful musicians on the record gets front billing while Gilberto gets second and Jobim is comically labeled as a feature, typical of record companies to highlight a name like Getz showing their collectively colonialist and imperialist tendencies. Regardless, the music is hailed as genuine and on a higher plane than contemporary imitators, for which its Brazilian musicians deserve praise. It is no surprise that the record revitalized Getz’s career and jumpstarted Astrud Gilberto’s, along with initiating an even wider popularity of bossa nova. The music begins with a peak via both “The Girl From Ipanema” and “Doralice”, featuring two sides of the record that exemplify its strengths. From here the energy is consistent even in its changes, exhibiting a back-and-forth dance between romance and charged sensuality, all reminiscent of the relationship between samba itself and its audience. “Desafinado” is a big seller for good reason, as with most tracks on Getz / Gilberto it features an exceptionally strong grasp on melody with an underlying tone of samba that pays tribute rather than forcing itself. The two closing tracks are not quite as strong as the others in obvious melodic qualities but fit into the album’s peaceful ethos and romantic storytelling while showcasing Getz's talents quite well. While Getz, Gilberto, and Jobim all put out stronger efforts during their careers, this is their most historically important for its impact on re-introducing international musical influences into the mainstream during the early sixties.