João Gilberto ‘João Gilberto’ (ÉL) 4/5

João-GilbertoThis original 1961 album is also included in full on the aforementioned anthology, but as with other Brazilian re-issues by ÉL, is worth investigating also because of the plethora of bonus cuts, twenty-three in total. In fact some of the greatest bossa nova songs that Gilberto recorded are reinterpreted here by a bevvy of artists ranging from Hammond organist Walter Wanderley to singer-songwriter-guitarists Carlos Lyra and Oscar Castro Neves, and even taking on board English language versions from jazz singer and scatter extraordinaire, Jon Hendricks. Female singer Leny Andarde contributes a gorgeous take on ‘Samba de una nota so’ while Lucio Alves evokes the Afro-Brazilian side of the music on a percussive take on Dorival Caymmi’s ‘O samba de minha terra’. Other singers include Sylvia Telles and Maysa. Of Joao Gilberto’s originals, ‘Insensatez’ ‘O Barqiunho’ and ‘O samba de minha terra’ remain even after all the time that has elapsed subsequently the definitive versions. Four pages of notes on the Gilberto recording shed light on how the original album gradually took shape.

Tim Stenhouse