This was a beautiful bossa nova record of Astrud Gilberto's vocal stylings…All the material (32:13) here, with the exception of "Learn to Live Alone" and "Pretty Place," which were arranged by Al Cohn, were arranged by Gil Evans. With the exception of a Johnny Coles trumpet solo, the personnel was uncredited on this 1966 recording. Discographies have credited Bob Brookmeyer (valve trombone), Kenny Burrell (guitar), and Grady Tate (drums), but except for a few bars of sax, there was no solo indivdualism in this large Creed Taylor-produced orchestra.
Fourth album of Brazilian singer Astrud Gilberto (Bahia, 1940). Astrud's voice has been described as the voice of the sound of the 'cherished innocence'. She has a great command of bossa songs while creating fresh and incisive interpretations of American popular songs. On this album she plays singing in both English and Portuguese on musical arrangements and orchestrations of the late Canadian musician Gil Evans. The songs in Portuguese look a magical and warm interpretative delicacy.
Astrud Gilberto's entry in the nicely appointed Verve Jazz Masters compilation series shows exactly why the Brazilian singer is deserving of such an accolade. In her '60s heyday, Gilberto was often derided by jazz purists for her vibrato-less "desafinado" (deliberately slightly off-pitch) singing style and deadpan, childlike voice. But the diminutive bossa nova star has since been a huge influence on dozens of jazz and pop singers. VERVE JAZZ MASTERS is less of a greatest hits package than it is a smartly balanced retrospective of many of Gilberto's best performances. Her biggest hits, "Call Me" and "Summer Samba," are not included, and her signature tune, "The Girl From Ipanema," is only represented by a live take from a 1964 Carnegie Hall concert. The collection places equal emphasis on Gilberto's bossa nova-style interpretations of jazz standards and on her signature Portuguese-language sambas.