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Getz/Gilberto: Expanded Edition

Fans of the Latin Jazz genre will recognize Getz/Gilberto as the beginning of a sensation that continues to this day. As the story goes, a woman stepped in during a studio session to sing English lyrics to a track her husband was recording with visiting American saxophonist Stan Getz, and created a legacy. Younger people may identify this style of music with scenes from movies or TV of people waiting awkwardly in elevators while listening to Muzak, but the point is that the style is now universal. The storm of popularity that followed the release of Getz/Gilberto catapulted singer Astrud Gilberto to international fame and cemented saxophonist Stan Getz as the master of bossa nova. Another key piece of the recording session that canít be overlooked is the composer Antonio Carlos Jobim, whose songs would go on to become a regular part of every playerís repertoire for... well, it seems like forever based on this being the 50th anniversary of the release of Getz/Gilberto.

The Getz/Gilberto: Expanded Edition release marks the 50 years since the original record, with improved versions of every track plus the addition of tracks not available on the original record. The bossa frenzy was originally built on just eight songs, with "The Girl from Ipanema" as the one that likely graced the most lips immediately after its release. One of the two bonus tracks included here is the U.S. single for that tune, plus the second single, "Corcovado." Astrud Gilberto essentially became the face of a song, if not the entire record, for the world as they listened to "The Girl from Ipanema." The backstory (real or fabricated) about her being a housewife that made an impromptu appearance on the record only made it more interesting. Itís ironic that among a cast of such talented players, a titan of tenor sax, and a brilliant composer, Astrud Gilberto managed to emerge as such an influential figure. Her husbandís singing on the record is a study of delicate beauty, but one wonders if Getz/Gilberto would have achieved the same level of fame without the female voice.

Notable on Getz/Gilberto: Expanded Edition is the restoration of both the stereo and mono versions of every track released on the original album. The improved quality is something we can all appreciate, but the fact that releases of the album over the years flipped the left/right orientation of the original stereo recordings may have been something only purists noticed. In any event, this anniversary release brings order back to the world of Getz/Gilberto with corrected stereo tracks and all of the original eight tracks in their mono version. Along with the mono singles, youíll find the most complete collection of tracks ever spawned from this recording session. For fans of the genre, itís a hugely important and iconic release. For jazz players and composers, itís a definitive guide to interpreting composer Jobimís body of work and for performing convincingly in a bossa style. History can point to at least one earlier record (Jazz Samba) also spearheaded by Getz that introduced U.S. audiences to this style of music, but Getz/Gilberto stands as the point where samba and bossa became a universal treasure. We have Stan Getz to thank for spearheading that and now we have a "perfect collection" of sorts to relive his achievement.

-Fridtjof, GameVortex Communications
AKA Matt Paddock

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