In 1964, with America in the throes of Beatlemania, “The Girl from Ipanema” breezed into the Top Five and sparked the bossa nova craze. This unlikely hit was a collaboration between American tenor sax great Stan Getz and Brazilian singer-guitarist Joao Gilberto (with enchanting vocals by his soon-to-be-ex-wife Astrud Gilberto), who would continue to work together on and off in the 1960s and ’70s.
The previously unreleased Getz/Gilberto ’76 is pure pleasure, as inviting as a gentle summer breeze (something especially welcome this time of year). Recorded at San Francisco’s Keystone Klub—you can hear glasses clinking in the background, with no detriment to the music—this delicious live set features Gilberto’s shimmering acoustic guitar and gentle singing unaccompanied on some tracks; elsewhere, he’s supported by Getz’s gorgeous sax and deftly understated band, which includes pianist Joanne Brackeen, bassist Clint Houston, and drummer Billy Hart.
Either way, it would be almost impossible to overstate the silkily seductive charms of this wonderful set.
The Absolute Sound -
Getz/Gilberto (1964) was a monster hit that helped make bossa nova an international craze. It featured, along with João Gilberto and Stan Getz, a Brazilian band that included pianist Antonio Carlos Jobim, and several Jobim songs, two of which were sung by Gilberto’s wife, Astrud (including the mega-hit, “Girl From Ipanema”). A live follow-up appeared two years later as Getz/Gilberto #2, featuring mostly American musicians.
But this live music from the following decade has a very different feel, drawing on material recorded at San Francisco’s Keystone Corner when the reclusive guitarist appeared with a short-lived Getz quartet that also featured pianist Joanne Brackeen, bassist Clint Houston, and drummer Billy Hart. The focus here is Gilberto, whose nuanced vocals and excellent, understated guitar work are heard to wonderful effect (there are even a couple of lovely guitar instrumentals).
Getz solos on a handful of tunes, while his accompanists remain very much in the background (the band is heard to full effect on the companion release Moments in Time). This release gets the full treatment from Resonance, with great sound, excellent liners, and beautiful photos and cover art, and it deserves it.
The Guardian -
Despite its title, this is Gilberto’s album. In 1976, he was co-starring with Getz’s quartet at Keystone Korner, a San Francisco jazz club, and the album was compiled from recordings made during their week-long run.
Appearances by the perfectionist, semi-reclusive Gilberto were rare, and there’s an atmosphere of occasion about the silence into which he half-whispers the Portuguese lyrics, accompanied by his minimalist but infinitely subtle guitar. Even Getz’s gorgeous tenor saxophone, when he joins in, sounds strident by comparison.
The original 1964 Getz/Gilberto album is a masterpiece, and this never reaches those heights, but there’s something spellbinding about Gilberto’s intensity when facing a live audience, close-up.
Having reunited for 1976's The Best of Two Worlds, saxophonist Stan Getz and Brazilian singer/guitarist João Gilberto celebrated the album's release with a week of shows at San Francisco's Keystone Corner. Marking over a decade since the pair had made history with 1964's landmark Getz/Gilberto album, the shows, which took place between May 11-16, 1976, would prove one of the rare times they appeared live together.
Resonance Records' 2016 album, Getz/Gilberto '76 (and the separate release Moments in Time), documents these shows via live recordings made by Keystone Korner club owner Todd Barkan. Produced by Barkan and Resonance's Zev Feldman, Getz/Gilberto '76 is a superb package featuring not only some of Getz and Gilberto's best live performances of the period, but also liner notes from Feldman, Barkan, and others, as well as interviews with band members like drummer Billy Hart and pianist Joanne Brackeen.
The '70s were a fruitful time for Getz, a star of the cool jazz scene who had been playing professionally since the '40s. While he achieved fame and wealth with his innovative bossa nova albums during the '60s, he remained creatively hungry as the years wore on, surrounding himself with young, forward-thinking jazz musicians like Hart, Brackeen, and bassist Clint Houston, who also appears here.
Despite this contemporary attitude, Getz and his band were more than amenable to backing the enigmatic Gilberto, who appears here in a variety of settings, from solo to duo to accompaniment by the full band. What's particularly fascinating is hearing how the band adjusts to Gilberto's distinctive and subtle phrasing, his steady guitar pulse anchoring his delicate, fluid vocal melodies.
While cuts like "Chega de Saudade" and "Doralice" retain all the warmth and beauty of the original 1964 recordings, at the Keystone Getz and his band color them in surprising yet still thoughtful ways. The result is an evening of organic, dreamlike splendor.