Getz/Gilberto ’76 is an instant classic collection of never-before-released recordings captured May 11-16, 1976 at the legendary San Francisco jazz club Keystone Korner, showcasing the legendary Brazilian singer, guitarist and composer João Gilberto, accompanied by the saxophone icon Stan Getz and his rhythm section of pianist Joanne Brackeen, bassist Clint Houston and drummer Billy Hart. These recordings were made during João Gilberto’s and Stan Getz’s weeklong engagement at the Keystone, which took place nearly 12 years after the release of their initial award-winning album.
The first Getz/Gilberto album sold over one million copies and almost single-handedly launched the bossa nova craze in America and around the world. It’s been said that the hit single off that album, “The Girl From Ipanema,” is the second most recorded song of all time, behind only “Yesterday” by the Beatles. The 1976 Keystone engagement represents one of the very few times this famed duo reunited after their initial creative collaboration in 1962, and according to the club’s founder and owner Todd Barkan, this engagement was João Gilberto’s first public performance after a four-year hiatus
Back in 2012, George Klabin and I assumed the guise of a couple of jazz loving Indiana Jones – type archeologists when we decided to take an adventure: we were going to go after the crown jewels of a riveting tape collection amassed by Todd Barkan, the legendary jazz impresario and owner of San Francisco’s iconic jazz club, Keystone Komer. Our adventure would take us deep into a treasure trove of live recordings made at the Keystone by the artists who played there. (Zev Feldman)
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|Analog Recording Equipment||
Nagra-T modified tape machine with high-end tube playback electronics, wired with OCC Silver Cable from the playback head direct to a Telefunken EF806 Tube
Merging Horus and HAPI converters from Merging Technologies with a dCS Vivaldi Clock
René Laflamme – Analog Tape to DSD 128 Transfer
|Original Recording Format|
Zev Feldman, Todd Barkan
Live at Keyston Korner, San Francisco, 1976
|Recording Type & Bit Rate||
|Release Date||November 4, 2016|
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.
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.
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