• Legacy and Alchemy

João Gilberto, Brazilian Bossa Nova Legend, Passes Away at Age 88

Photo: Michael Ochs - Getty Images​

Stan Getz and João Gilberto’s iconic version of the song “The Girl From Ipanema” ("Garota de Ipanema") changed music history.

“The Girl From Ipanema” is a Brazilian bossa nova and jazz song. It was a worldwide hit in the mid-1960s and won a Grammy for Record of the Year in 1965. It was written in 1962, with music by Antônio Carlos Jobim and Portuguese lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes. English lyrics were written later by Norman Gimbel.

The first commercial recording was in 1962, by Pery Ribeiro. The Stan Getz recording featuring the vocal debut of Astrud Gilberto became an international hit. This version had been shortened from the version on the album Getz/Gilberto (recorded in March 1963, released in March 1964) which had also included the Portuguese lyrics sung by Astrud's husband João Gilberto. In the US, the single peaked at number five on the BillboardHot 100, and went to number one for two weeks on the Easy Listening chart. Overseas it peaked at number 29 in the United Kingdom, and charted highly throughout the world.

Numerous recordings have been used in films, sometimes as an elevator music cliché. It is believed to be the second most recorded pop song in history, after "Yesterday" by The Beatles. The song was inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2004, it was one of 50 recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. In 2009, the song was voted by the Brazilian edition of Rolling Stone as the 27th greatest Brazilian song.

Jobim’s grandson, Daniel Jobim, performed the song on piano during the now famous Gisele Bundchen Olympic catwalk. The younger Jobim paid further tribute to his grandfather in a series of concerts in Rio’s Olympic country houses during the 1996 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The performances featured American vocalist Alexandra Jackson, who included her new version of the song on her Brazil-tinged release, "Alexandra Jackson: Legacy & Alchemy".

Like Ella Fitzgerald before her, Ms. Jackson -- a University of Miami music graduate and daughter of the legendary late Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson -- brings the female gaze to the sensuous song, with lyrics that eye a “tall and tan and young and handsome” boy walking down the Rio street.


Click Photo

Daniel Jobim and Alexandra Jackson performing "Girl from Ipanema"

CLUB FRANCE - French National Olympic House during the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics


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