Bossa nova is a style of Brazilian music, which was developed and popularized in the 1950s and 1960s and is today one of the best-known Brazilian music styles abroad. The phrase bossa nova means literally "new trend" or "new wave" (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈbɔsɐ ˈnɔvɐ] (listen)). A lyrical fusion of samba and jazz, bossa nova acquired a large following in the 1960s, initially among young musicians and college students.
|Cultural origins||Late 1950s, South Zone of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
In Brazil, the word "bossa" is old-fashioned slang for something that is done with particular charm, natural flair or innate ability. As early as 1932, Noel Rosa used the word in a samba:
"O samba, a prontidão e outras bossas são nossas coisas, são coisas nossas." ("Samba, readiness and other bossas are our things, are things from us.")
The exact origin of the term "bossa nova" remained unclear for many decades, according to some authors. Within the artistic beach culture of the late 1950s in Rio de Janeiro, the term "bossa" was used to refer to any new "trend" or "fashionable wave". In his book Bossa Nova, Brazilian author Ruy Castro asserts that "bossa" was already in use in the 1950s by musicians as a word to characterize someone's knack for playing or singing idiosyncratically. Castro claims that the term "bossa nova" might have first been used in public for a concert given in 1957 by the Grupo Universitário Hebraico do Brasil (Hebrew University Group of Brazil). The authorship of the term "bossa nova" is attributed to the then-young journalist Moyses Fuks, who was promoting the event. That group consisted of Sylvia Telles, Carlos Lyra, Nara Leão, Luiz Eça, Roberto Menescal, and others. Mr. Fuks's description, fully supported by most of the bossa nova members, simply read "HOJE. SYLVIA TELLES E UM GRUPO BOSSA NOVA" ("Today. Sylvia Telles and a 'Bossa Nova' group"), since Sylvia Telles was the most famous musician in the group at that time. In 1959, Nara Leão also participated in more than one embryonic display of bossa nova. These include the 1st Festival de Samba Session, conducted by the student union of Pontifícia Universidade Católica. This session was chaired by Carlos Diegues (later a prominent Cinema Novo film director), a law student whom Leão ultimately married.
Bossa nova is most commonly performed on the nylon-string classical guitar, played with the fingers rather than with a pick. Its purest form could be considered unaccompanied guitar with vocals, as created, pioneered, and exemplified by João Gilberto. Even in larger, jazz-like arrangements for groups, there is almost always a guitar that plays the underlying rhythm. Gilberto basically took one of the several rhythmic layers from a samba ensemble, specifically the tamborim, and applied it to the picking hand. According to Brazilian musician Paulo Bitencourt, João Gilberto, known for his eccentricity and obsessed by the idea of finding a new way of playing the guitar, often locked himself in the bathroom, where he played one and the same chord for many hours in a row.
As in samba, the surdo plays an ostinato figure on the downbeat of beat one, the "ah" of beat one, the downbeat of beat two and the "ah" of beat two. The clave pattern sounds very similar to the two-three or three-two son clave of Cuban styles such as mambo but is dissimilar in that the "two" side of the clave is pushed by an eighth note. Also important in the percussion section for bossa nova is the cabasa, which plays a steady sixteenth-note pattern. These parts are easily adaptable to the drum set, which makes bossa nova a rather popular Brazilian style for drummers.
Certain other instrumentations and vocals are also part of the structure of bossa nova:
Bossa nova has at its core a rhythm based on samba. Samba combines the rhythmic patterns and feel originating in former African slave communities. Samba's emphasis on the second beat carries through to bossa nova (to the degree that it is often notated in 2/4 time). However, unlike samba, bossa nova doesn't have dance steps to accompany it. When played on the guitar, in a simple one-bar pattern, the thumb plays the bass notes on 1 and 2, while the fingers pluck the chords in unison on the two eighth notes of beat one, followed by the second sixteenth note of beat two. Two-measure patterns usually contain a syncopation into the second measure. Overall, the rhythm has a "swaying" feel rather than the "swinging" feel of jazz. As bossa nova composer Carlos Lyra describes it in his song "Influência do Jazz", the samba rhythm moves "side to side" while jazz moves "front to back". Bossa nova was also influenced by the blues, but because the most famous bossa novas lack the 12-bar structure characteristic of classic blues, as well as the statement, repetition and rhyming resolution of lyrics typical of the genre, bossa nova's affinity with the blues often passes unnoticed.
Aside from the guitar style, João Gilberto's other innovation was the projection of the singing voice. Prior to bossa nova, Brazilian singers employed brassy, almost operatic styles. Now, the characteristic nasal vocal production of bossa nova is a peculiar trait of the caboclo folk tradition of northeastern Brazil.
The lyrical themes found in bossa nova include women, love, longing, homesickness, nature. Bossa Nova was often apolitical. The musical lyrics of the late 1950s depicted the easy life of the middle to upper-class Brazilians, though the majority of the population was in the working class. However, in conjunction with political developments of the early 1960s (especially the 1964 military coup d'état), the popularity of bossa nova was eclipsed by Música popular brasileira, a musical genre that appeared around the mid-1960s, featuring lyrics that were more politically charged, referring explicitly to working class struggle.
Origin and Etymology: Portuguese, literally, 'new trend'. First Known Use: 1962
Antônio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim (January 25, 1927 – December 8, 1994), also known as Tom Jobim (Portuguese pronunciation: [tõ ʒoˈbĩ]), was a Brazilian composer, pianist, songwriter, arranger and singer. Widely considered as one of the great exponents of Brazilian music, Jobim is the artist who internationalized bossa nova and, with the help of important American artists, merged it with jazz in the 1960s to create a new sound with remarkable popular success.
He was a primary force behind the creation of the bossa nova style, and his songs have been performed by many singers and instrumentalists within Brazil and internationally.
In 1965 his album Getz/Gilberto was the first jazz album to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. It also won for Best Jazz Instrumental Album – Individual or Group and for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. The album's single "Garota de Ipanema" ("The Girl from Ipanema"), one of the most recorded songs of all time, won the Record of the Year. Jobim has left a large number of songs that are now included in jazz and pop standard repertoires. The song "Garota de Ipanema" has been recorded over 240 times by other artists. His 1967 album with Frank Sinatra, Francis Albert Sinatra & Antônio Carlos Jobim, was nominated for Album of the Year in 1968.Astrud Gilberto
Astrud Gilberto (born March 29, 1940) is a Brazilian samba and bossa nova singer. She became well known in the 1960s for her performance of the song "The Girl from Ipanema".Bad! Bossa Nova
Bad! Bossa Nova is an album by saxophonist Gene Ammons recorded in 1962 and released on the Prestige label. It was also re-released as Jungle Soul! (Ca' Purange).Big Band Bossa Nova
Big Band Bossa Nova is an album by Quincy Jones.Big Band Bossa Nova (Stan Getz album)
Big Band Bossa Nova is a 1962 album by saxophonist Stan Getz with the Gary McFarland Orchestra. The album was arranged and conducted by Gary McFarland and produced by Creed Taylor for Verve Records. This was Stan's second bossa nova album for Verve following Jazz Samba, his very successful collaboration with guitarist Charlie Byrd.
The music was recorded at the CBS 30th Street Studio in New York City on August 27 and 28, 1962.Bossa Nova Baby
"Bossa Nova Baby" is a song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and recorded on January 22, 1963, at Radio Recorders in Hollywood, CA by Elvis Presley as part of the soundtrack of the 1963 motion picture Fun in Acapulco.
The song reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart and number 20 on the Billboard R&B Singles chart in 1963. It also reached number 13 in the UK charts.It was first recorded and released by Tippie and the Clovers in 1962.Bossa Nova Carnival
Bossa Nova Carnival is an album by American jazz vibraphonist Dave Pike performing compositions by João Donato which was recorded in 1962 for the New Jazz label.Bossa Nova Plus
Bossa Nova Plus (also released as Shuckin') is an album by saxophonist Willis Jackson which was recorded in 1962 and released on the Prestige label.Brazilian jazz
Brazilian Jazz can refer to both a genre, largely influenced by Bossa nova, that exists in many nations and the jazz music of Brazil itself.Corcovado (song)
"Corcovado" (known in English as "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars") is a bossa nova song written by Antônio Carlos Jobim in 1960. An English lyric was later written by Gene Lees. The Portuguese title refers to the Corcovado mountain in Rio de Janeiro. Andy Williams recorded the song with English lyrics, reaching #92 in the Billboard Hot 100 and #18 in the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart in 1965. Also receiving air-play, contemporaneously with Andy Williams' recording of "Quiet Nights," was Kitty Kallen's version. Her album, titled "Quiet Nights," was released by 20th Century-Fox Records in 1964.Desafinado
"Desafinado," a Portuguese word (usually rendered into English as "Out of Tune", or as "Off Key"), is the title of a bossa nova song composed by Antônio Carlos Jobim with lyrics (in Portuguese) by Newton Mendonça. It was originally a response to critics who claimed that bossa nova was a new genre for singers who can't sing. The English language lyrics were written by Jon Hendricks and "Jessie Cavanaugh" (a pseudonym used by The Richmond Organisation). Another English lyric, more closely based on the original Portuguese lyric (but not a translation) was written by Gene Lees, and appears on some recordings as well. The version by Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd (from the album Jazz Samba) was a major hit in 1962, reaching number 15 and number 4 on Billboard′s pop and easy-listening charts, respectively; their definitive rendering also reached number 11 in the UK, while Ella Fitzgerald's version made number 38. The song was voted by the Brazilian edition of Rolling Stone as the 14th greatest Brazilian song.Edu Lobo
Eduardo de Góes "Edu" Lobo (born August 29, 1943) is a Brazilian singer, guitarist, and composer.He achieved fame in the 1960s as part of the bossa nova movement.His compositions include the world-famous Upa Neguinho (with Gianfrancesco Guarnieri), Pra Dizer Adeus (with Torquato Neto; also known in its English version as "To say goodbye"), Choro Bandido, A história de Lily Braun, Beatriz (the latter three songs with Chico Buarque), Arrastão and Canto triste (both with Vinicius de Moraes), and Ponteio (with Capinam). Ponteio won best song at the 3rd Festival de Música Popular Brasileira in the recording by Quarteto Novo in 1967.He has worked with, and his songs have been covered by artists like Toots Thielemans, Marcos Valle, Elis Regina, Sylvia Telles, Sergio Mendes, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Milton Nascimento, Maria Bethânia, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, Caetano Veloso, Monica Salmaso, Sarah Vaughan, Earth, Wind & Fire, Caterina Valente and others.
Dos Navegantes, a collaboration album by him, Romero Lubambo and Mauro Senise, won the 2017 Latin Grammy Award for Best MPB Album.Fly Me to the Moon
Fly Me to the Moon, originally titled "In Other Words", is a song written in 1954 by Bart Howard. Kaye Ballard made the first recording of the song the year it was written. Frank Sinatra's 1964 version was closely associated with the Apollo missions to the Moon.
In 1999, the Songwriters Hall of Fame honored "Fly Me to the Moon" by inducting it as a "Towering Song".Getz/Gilberto
Getz/Gilberto is an album by American saxophonist Stan Getz and Brazilian guitarist João Gilberto, featuring pianist and composer Antônio Carlos Jobim (Tom Jobim), who also composed many of the tracks. It was released in March 1964 on Verve Records. The album features the vocals of Astrud Gilberto on two tracks, "Garota de Ipanema" ("The Girl from Ipanema") and "Corcovado". The artwork was done by artist Olga Albizu. Getz/Gilberto is a jazz and bossa nova album, and includes tracks such as "Desafinado", "Corcovado", and "Garota de Ipanema". The latter received a Grammy Award for Record of the Year, and launched Astrud Gilberto to international stardom. "Doralice" and "Para Machucar Meu Coração" strengthened Gilberto's and Jobim's respect for the tradition of pre-bossa nova samba.
Getz/Gilberto is considered the record that popularized bossa nova worldwide, and was one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time. The album was also a commercial success, selling more than 2 million copies in 1964. It was later featured in Rolling Stone's and Vibe's lists of best albums of all time. Getz/Gilberto was widely acclaimed by music critics, who praised Gilberto's vocals and the album's bossa nova groove and minimalism. Getz/Gilberto received Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group and Best Engineered Recording - Non-Classical; it also became the first non-American album to win one for Album of the Year, in 1965.Jazz standard
Jazz standards are musical compositions that are an important part of the musical repertoire of jazz musicians, in that they are widely known, performed, and recorded by jazz musicians, and widely known by listeners. There is no definitive list of jazz standards, and the list of songs deemed to be standards changes over time. Songs included in major fake book publications (sheet music collections of popular tunes) and jazz reference works offer a rough guide to which songs are considered standards.
Not all jazz standards were written by jazz composers. Many are originally Tin Pan Alley popular songs, Broadway show tunes or songs from Hollywood musicals – the Great American Songbook. In Europe, jazz standards and "fake books" may even include some traditional folk songs (such as in Scandinavia) or pieces of ethnic music (such as gypsy melodies) that have been played with a jazz feel by well known jazz players. A commonly played song can only be considered a jazz standard if it is widely played among jazz musicians. The jazz standard repertoire has some overlap with blues and pop standards.
The most recorded jazz standard was W. C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues" for over 20 years from the 1930s onward, after which Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust" replaced it. Today, the place is held by "Body and Soul" by Johnny Green. The most recorded standard composed by a jazz musician is Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight".João Gilberto
João Gilberto Prado Pereira de Oliveira, known as João Gilberto (Portuguese: [ˈʒoɐ̃w ʒiwˈbɛʁtu]; June 10, 1931), is a Brazilian singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He created the musical genre of bossa nova in the late 1950s.Soul Bossa Nova
"Soul Bossa Nova" is a popular instrumental, composed and first performed by the musician, impresario and record producer Quincy Jones. It appeared on his 1962 Big Band Bossa Nova album on Mercury Records.Jones said that it took him twenty minutes to compose the piece, which features prominently a cuíca (responsible for the distinctive "laughing" in the first bars). Roland Kirk was the flute soloist, Lalo Schifrin was the pianist, Chris White was the bassist, Rudy Collins was the drummer, and Jerome Richardson was the alto flutist. The album liner notes do not specify the brass players.Sérgio Mendes
Sérgio Santos Mendes (Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈsɛʁʒju ˈsɐ̃tus ˈmẽdʒis]; born February 11, 1941) is a Brazilian musician. He has over 55 releases, and plays bossa nova heavily crossed with jazz and funk. He was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song in 2012 as co-writer of the song "Real in Rio" from the animated film Rio.
Mendes is a unique example of a Brazilian musician primarily known in the United States, where his albums were recorded and where most of his touring took place.
Mendes is married to Gracinha Leporace, who has performed with him since the early 1970s. Mendes has also collaborated with many artists through the years, including The Black Eyed Peas, with whom he re-recorded in 2006 a version of his breakthrough hit "Mas Que Nada".West Side Story Bossa Nova
West Side Story Bossa Nova is an album by saxophonist Bill Barron fearturing bossa nova versions of tunes from the Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim musical West Side Story which was recorded in 1963 and first released on the Dauntlesss label.