Recommend me some Bossa Nova!
February 6, 2006 9:03 AM   Subscribe

MusicDudes: I'm looking to get into Bossa Nova...

...I've always loved the sound, but I just don't know where to start. I picked up the Smoky&Miho "Two EPs" disc a few years ago purely on the Cibo Matto connection and fell totally in love. Since then I've scavanged a slight collection from second hand stores, but I'd like to actually pursue it as actively as I do indie rock. To that end, I'm looking for MeFiites personal suggestions as well as any historically important records. I try to avoid "Best Ofs", as I'm just as interested in career stumbling blocks as big hits.
posted by GilloD to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd - Jazz Samba
Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto - Getz/Gilberto
posted by rocket88 at 9:06 AM on February 6, 2006 is a great resource for this kind of thing. The bossa nova page links to important artists and albums, like Brazil's Brilliant by João Gilberto:

This vitally important record introduced Joao Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim and thus, bossa nova to the United States in 1961, a year before Stan Getz scored a hit with "Desafinado." Twelve of Gilberto's more than three-dozen bossa nova recordings for EMI-Odeon in Brazil were were some of the earliest examples of the fusion between samba and cool jazz, the rhythmic impulse coming from Gilberto's guitar style and the melodies written for his articulate, intimate voice.
posted by mediareport at 9:14 AM on February 6, 2006

This isn't what I'd consider consummate, but it is a cache of bossa nova and samba MP3 links that changes periodically. Sabadabada. The best part is that they are all rare 60s LPs, so it's really pretty illuminating in terms of good music that is not necessarily popular. Unfortunately there are only four albums up there now, but it is worth keeping an eye on. Anyway, it's free, so there's nothing to lose.

It seems to be more a resource for the advanced fan, but I've found it instructive in sampling a wide variety of different music that helps to refine my tastes in more readily available stuff.
posted by cacophony at 9:24 AM on February 6, 2006

The soundtrack to Orfeu Negro is a good place to start.
posted by mds35 at 9:44 AM on February 6, 2006

The Four Disk "The Bossa Nova Years" Stan Getz Box Set is great. It may be out of print but you should still be able to find copies.
Joao Gilberto live in Montreux.
Wave, Antonio Carlos Jobim.
posted by miniape at 9:54 AM on February 6, 2006

I second Sabadabada, which I found out about through this front page post. There are a couple of good links in the thread as well (espcially this one).
posted by Otis at 10:17 AM on February 6, 2006

Check out Bebel Gilberto, bossa nova's daughter.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 10:47 AM on February 6, 2006

I can't claim to know much about the classic, but I do know that I think Ursula 1000's mix cd "Ursadelica" was totally totally cool.

"20 first class tracks from around the world that take you from jazzy breaks, mod freakbeats, Latin movers, boogaloo groovers, psychedelic soul shakers and bouncy electric disco stompers in a slick, eclectic mix."

posted by tpl1212 at 10:56 AM on February 6, 2006

I was going to second Bebel as well. Also check out Astrud Gilberto and Marisa Monte.
posted by heartquake at 11:05 AM on February 6, 2006

rocket88's comment is also my #1 recommendation of where to start. To further pursue the work of the composer Antonio Carlos Jobim, you can get the Man from Ipanema box set.
posted by matildaben at 11:09 AM on February 6, 2006

it's worth checking out both the new and old albums by Marcos Valle.
posted by tnai at 11:12 AM on February 6, 2006

Go for Mediareport's suggestion. Further, NPR just ran a story (I believe on The World) about Bossa Nova, which was a whole movement in Brazil... Great stuff.
posted by klangklangston at 11:38 AM on February 6, 2006

"Getz/Gilberto" should probably be on top of your shopping list.

"Bebel Gilberto" and "Tanto tiempo" by Bebel Gilberto, gives a fresh new twist to the classic bossa nova style.

Antonio Carlos Jobim "Wave"

Wanda de Sah "Softly"

Astrud Gilberto "Compact jazz" (OK, it's a compilation, but a good one)

More suggestions here.
posted by iviken at 11:41 AM on February 6, 2006

It's not strictly bossa nova, as it includes a lot of house-y / electronica elements, but people always seem to love this album by "Tom y Joyce". Especially this track [MP3]. They recently put out a new album, but I haven't had a chance to check it out yet.
posted by idontlikewords at 11:48 AM on February 6, 2006

In 1964 "Getz/Gilberto" won the Grammy for Album of the Year, "The girl from Ipanema" (from the Getz/Gilberto album) won the Grammy for Record of the Year. And The Beatles won the Grammy for Best New Artist.
posted by iviken at 11:55 AM on February 6, 2006

The Slipcue e-zine has reviews of tons of Brazilian music. Check out the pages on bossa nova and bossa nova mixed with jazz.

AllBrazillianMusic is great for reference. They too have a page all about the bossa nova. has very reasonable prices on import CDs and a huge selection of Brazilian music. Their descriptions of every record and CD they carry are pretty helpful, if gushing (they are trying to sell it to you, after all.)
Their LP's are overpriced.
posted by hydrophonic at 2:58 PM on February 6, 2006

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