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Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto - Getz Gilberto Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 October 2002

Stan Getz, Joao Gilberto
format: SACD Stereo non-hybrid
label: Verve
release year: 2002
performance: 9
sound 9.5
reviewed by: Jerry Del Colliano

ImageStyle exudes from every note of the 1963 Brazilian Jazz classic Getz/Gilberto more now than ever with the 2003 stereo, non-hybrid SACD remix of the record. This disc is the first one that I have had a chance to review from the first batch of Universal Music group collection of SACD, and it is a great place to start. The record, which has now sold over 500,000 copies, has to be historically considered to be a success. Creatively, it sets the bar for the genre of Brazilian Jazz.

Most notable on Getz/Gilberto is the hit “The Girl From Ipanema,” controversially sung by Joao Gilberto's “housewife,” Astrud. As legend tells it, Jobim and Gilberto didn’t want her to perform on the record because she was not a “professional” singer and they felt that she sang flat. Getz insisted on including her and the track is now a classic. Gentle strumming and graceful melodies take the edge off of even the most stressful day better than a triple Gray Goose (dirty). If Astrud Gilberto is not the greatest singer in musical history, it doesn’t matter much, because her sex appeal and slightly raspy vocal tone make up for it. If one is very used to this album on CD, it’s possible to hear definite differences on the SACD on Getz’s first solo on “Ipanema.” It is far richer and more three-dimensional, with more detail between the notes and more resolution, enabling you to appreciate the performance more than with the lower-resolution CD.

Unlike many new records I have heard in the past five to 10 years, Getz/Gilberto is a complete work from start to finish. Although it is a very short record, every note is tasty and the mood remains positive and fun. On “Doralice,” you get a better taste of the righteous guitar work of Jobim, who dances rhythmic chords around his black and white keys with ease.

Another tune that may be familiar to you is “Corcovado (Quiet Nights and Quiet Stars),” which once again features Astrud and Joao Gilberto on vocals. On the SACD mix, you can hear the subtle details so much more clearly than on the CD, especially as the brushes sweep the cymbals during this track. Simple guitar chords slide in between a pleasing melody. The piano solo later in the recording sounds a bit dull in comparison to the overall resolution of Getz’s sax and some of the other instruments.

Over time, I have developed a strong affinity for “So’ Danco Samba,” which is a more upbeat track with a more ambitious solo from Getz. The use of little vocal stylings of words that I am not even sure are in fact words makes the tune even cooler.

The SACD version of the album comes with the 45 rpm version of “The Girl From Ipanema” and “Corcovado (Quiet Nights and Quiet Stars)” to add some more music to the record, but even without the added values, Getz/Gilberto is a guaranteed winner, remixed and remastered for SACD. Every note is right on. The audio is better than ever before and the experience is a downright good time. When you are looking for a little lift, Getz/Gilberto can do the trick. Its warm melodies, beautifully layered musical textures and wonderful performances make for a surefire triumph.

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