João Gilberto

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João Gilberto
Joao Gilberto.jpg
Gilberto in 2006
Background information
Birth nameJoão Gilberto Prado Pereira de Oliveira
Born(1931-06-10)10 June 1931
Juazeiro, Bahia, Brazil
Died6 July 2019(2019-07-06) (aged 88)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Genres Bossa nova, samba, Latin jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, singing
Years active1950–2019
Labels

João Gilberto Prado Pereira de Oliveira, known as João Gilberto (Portuguese:  [ʒuˈɐ̃w ʒiwˈbɛʁtu] ; 10 June 1931 – 6 July 2019), was a Brazilian singer, songwriter, and guitarist, who was a pioneer of the musical genre of bossa nova in the late 1950s. Around the world he was often called "father of bossa nova"; [1] [2] [3] in his native Brazil, he was referred to as "O Mito" ("The Legend"). [4]

A songwriter is a professional that writes lyrics or composes musical compositions for songs. A songwriter can also be called a composer, although the latter term tends to be used mainly for individuals from the classical music genre and film scoring, but is also associated with writing and composing the original musical composition or musical bed. A songwriter that writes the lyrics/words are referred to as lyricist. The pressure from the music industry to produce popular hits means that songwriting is often an activity for which the tasks are distributed between a number of people. For example, a songwriter who excels at writing lyrics might be paired with a songwriter with the task of creating original melodies. Pop songs may be written by group members from the band or by staff writers – songwriters directly employed by music publishers. Some songwriters serve as their own music publishers, while others have outside publishers.

Guitarist person who plays the guitar

A guitarist is a person who plays the guitar. Guitarists may play a variety of guitar family instruments such as classical guitars, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and bass guitars. Some guitarists accompany themselves on the guitar by singing or playing the harmonica.

Bossa nova is a style of Brazilian music, which was developed and popularized in the 1950s and 1960s and is today one of the best-known Brazilian music styles abroad. The phrase bossa nova means literally "new trend" or "new wave". A lyrical fusion of samba and jazz, bossa nova acquired a large following in the 1960s, initially among young musicians and college students.

Contents

Biography

Early life

João Gilberto was born in Juazeiro, Bahia, the son of Joviniano Domingos de Oliveira, a wealthy merchant, and Martinha do Prado Pereira de Oliveira. He lived in his native city until 1942, when he began to study in Aracaju, Sergipe, returning to Juazeiro in 1946. At the age of 14, Gilberto got his first guitar from his grandfather despite disapproval from Gilberto's father. [4] Still, in Juazeiro, he formed his first band, called "Enamorados do Ritmo". Gilberto moved to Salvador, Bahia, in 1947. During his three years in the city, he dropped out of his studies to dedicate himself exclusively to music and at the age of 18 began his artistic career as a crooner at the Rádio Sociedade da Bahia. [5]

Juazeiro City in Northeast, Brazil

Juazeiro, formerly also known as Joazeiro, is a municipality in the state of Bahia, in the northeastern region of Brazil. Its name comes from the juazeiro tree which grows in the region. The city is twinned with Petrolina, in the state of Pernambuco. The two cities are connected by a modern bridge crossing the São Francisco River. Together they form the metropolitan region of Petrolina-Juazeiro, an urban conglomerate of close to 500,000 inhabitants.

Bahia State of Brazil

Bahia is one of the 26 states of Brazil and is located in the northeastern part of the country on the Atlantic coast. It is the 4th-largest Brazilian state by population and the 5th-largest by area. Bahia's capital is the city of Salvador, located on a spit of land separating the Bay of All Saints from the Atlantic. Once a monarchial stronghold dominated by agricultural, slaving, and ranching interests, Bahia is now a major manufacturing center whose last three elections have been dominated by the Workers' Party.

Aracaju Municipality in Northeast, Brazil

Aracaju is the capital of the State of Sergipe, Brazil, located in the northeastern part of the country on the coast, about 350 km (217 mi) north of Salvador.

Career

Gilberto's first recordings were released in Brazil as two-song, 78-rpm singles between 1951 and 1959. In the 1960s Brazilian singles evolved to the "double compact" format, and Gilberto released some EPs in this new format, which carried four songs on a 45-rpm record. In 1956, he returned to Rio and struck up old acquaintances, most significantly with Antônio Carlos Jobim, who was by then working as a composer, producer, and arranger with Odeon Records. Jobim was impressed with Gilberto's new style of guitar playing and set about finding a suitable song to pitch the style to Odeon management. [6]

Antônio Carlos Jobim Brazilian songwriter, composer, arranger, singer, and pianist/guitarist

Antônio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim, also known as Tom Jobim, was a Brazilian composer, pianist, songwriter, arranger and singer. Widely considered as one of the great exponents of Brazilian music, Jobim internationalized bossa nova and, with the help of important American artists, merged it with jazz in the 1960s to create a new sound with remarkable popular success. As such he is sometimes known as the "father of bossa nova".

Odeon Records German record label

Odeon Records was a record label founded in 1903 by Max Straus and Heinrich Zuntz of the International Talking Machine Company in Berlin, Germany. The label's name and logo come from the Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe in Paris.

In 1963, Gilberto collaborated with American jazz musician Stan Getz on the album Getz/Gilberto which was released the following year. Jobim played the piano for the album while Gilberto's then-wife Astrud performed the vocals in English while he sang in Portuguese. Although Astrud Gilberto was only in the recording studio to be with her husband, João Gilberto requested her to sing on several of the tracks as he could not sing in English.This resulted with a duet between the two on the track "The Girl from Ipanema" which became a major hit from the album. [7] At the 7th Annual Grammy Awards, Getz/Gilberto won three awards including Album of the Year, which marked the first time a jazz album received the accolade. [8]

Stan Getz American jazz saxophonist

Stan Getz was an American jazz saxophonist. Playing primarily the tenor saxophone, Getz was known as "The Sound" because of his warm, lyrical tone, his prime influence being the wispy, mellow timbre of his idol, Lester Young. Coming to prominence in the late 1940s with Woody Herman's big band, Getz is described by critic Scott Yanow as "one of the all-time great tenor saxophonists". Getz performed in bebop and cool jazz groups. Influenced by João Gilberto and Antônio Carlos Jobim, he popularized bossa nova in America with the hit single "The Girl from Ipanema" (1964).

<i>Getz/Gilberto</i> album by Stan Getz and João Gilberto

Getz/Gilberto is an album by American saxophonist Stan Getz and Brazilian guitarist João Gilberto, featuring pianist and composer Antônio Carlos Jobim, who also composed many of the tracks. It was released in March 1964 on Verve Records. The album features the vocals of Astrud Gilberto on two tracks, "Garota de Ipanema" and "Corcovado". The artwork was done by artist Olga Albizu. Getz/Gilberto is a jazz and bossa nova album, and includes tracks such as "Desafinado", "Corcovado", and "Garota de Ipanema". The latter received a Grammy Award for Record of the Year, and launched Astrud Gilberto to international stardom. "Doralice" and "Para Machucar Meu Coração" strengthened Gilberto's and Jobim's respect for the tradition of pre-bossa nova samba.

Astrud Gilberto Brazilian singer

Astrud Gilberto is a Brazilian samba and bossa nova singer. She became well known in the 1960s for her performance of the song "The Girl from Ipanema".

Gilberto was known for his demanding acoustic and noise-control standards. During a recording session of the song "Rosa Morena", he insisted on 28 takes to get the pronunciation of the o in "Rosa" just right. [9] Nonetheless, despite his high acoustic standards, he skipped a contractually required sound check prior to a July 2003 performance at the Hollywood Bowl, in Los Angeles. This negligence (and the ensuing sound fiasco) prompted the audience to stream from the venue before the concert ended. [10] In 1997, Gilberto sued record label EMI over their reissue of several of his early works, which he contended had been poorly remastered. According to The New York Times , "A statement by his lawyer at the time declared that the reissues contained sound effects that 'did not pertain to the original recordings, banalizing the work of a great artist." Following the incident, EMI ceased production of the albums in question, and, as of 2008, the lawsuit was yet to reach a decision. [11]

EMI British music recording and publishing company

EMI Group Limited was a British transnational conglomerate founded in March 1931 in London. At the time of its break-up in 2012, it was the fourth largest business group and record label conglomerate in the music industry, and was one of the big four record companies ; its labels included EMI Records, Parlophone, Virgin Records, and Capitol Records, which are now owned by other companies.

<i>The New York Times</i> Daily broadsheet newspaper based in New York City

The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 127 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 18th in the world by circulation and 3rd in the U.S..

In 2000, Gilberto won the nomination for the Best World Music Album category in the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards for his work in the album João Voz e Violão . [12] A year later, he was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame. [13]

The Grammy Award for Best World Music Album is an honor presented to recording artists for quality albums in the world music genre at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position".

42nd Annual Grammy Awards award ceremony

The 42nd Annual Grammy Awards were held on February 23, 2000 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. They recognized accomplishments by musicians from the year 1999. Santana was the main recipient with eight Grammys, tying Michael Jackson's record for most awards won in a single night. Santana's album Supernatural was awarded a total of nine awards. American teen singers Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera were both nominated for Best New Artist, ultimately won by Aguilera.

<i>João Voz e Violão</i> 2000 studio album by João Gilberto

João Voz e Violão is a bossa nova album by João Gilberto, released in 2000. Recording very little in the 1990s, this album is Gilberto's first studio album since 1991's João. The album won the 2001 Grammy Award for Best World Music Album.

On September 2003, Gilberto performed four shows in Japan. [14] His performance at the Tokyo International Forum on 12 September was recorded for a live album titled In Tokyo which was released in 2004. [15] At the 6th Annual Latin Grammy Awards in 2005, In Tokyo received a nomination for Best MPB Album. [16] On 17 May 2017, Gilberto received an honorary doctorate in music from Columbia University but did not attend the commencement ceremony. [17]

Role in bossa nova

With the introduction of the microphone and the amplifier in Brazil, Gilberto realized that the sound source did not need to be emitted intensely, regarding the voice and instrument, which favored subtle and internalized interpretations. On the other hand, at the time of the first "bossa nova" recordings, Brazil still did not have hi fidelity recording equipment capable of reproducing more complex sonorities. Due to that, Gilberto and Tom Jobim, Gilberto's first arranger, elaborated complex harmonies under the influence of American music, and at the same time they simplified the general sound, because of the equipment limitation. [18]

In July 1958, Elizete Cardoso released the famous LP, Canção do Amor Demais, containing songs by Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes. The record, however, would enter the history of Brazilian popular music for another reason: Gilberto accompanied Cardoso on guitar on the tracks "Chega de Saudade" and "Outra Vez", these being the first recordings of the so-called "bossa nova beat". In August of that year, Gilberto released a 78 rpm record containing "Chega de Saudade" and "Bim Bom", recorded at Odeon, with colaborations from Jobim, Dorival Caymmi, and Aloysio de Oliveira. This album inaugurated the "bossa nova" genre and soon became a commercial success. Gilberto's recording had arrangements by Jobim and the participation of Milton Banana, among other artists. Gilberto innovated by using two microphones to record, one for the voice and one for the guitar. This way, the harmony became more clearly heard. Until then, songs were recorded with only one microphone, emphasizing the voice to the detriment of the guitar. With this innovation, voice and guitar could compete equally, if the voice maintained a natural intensity. Thus, it was necessary to issue the voice in a volume close to that of ordinary speech. With Gilberto, voice and guitar are kept at the same volume intensity, with the microphones picking up both sound sources equally, and, if required, changing the volume of both would be in equal proportion. In 1959, Gilberto released another 78 rpm, containing "Desafinado" by Jobim and Newton Mendonça, and "Hô-bá-lá-lá", written by himself. In March 1959, he released the LP Chega de Saudade , which became a sales success and had a major impact in the history of Brazilian music. [18]

Musical style

Gilberto's style combines traditional elements of samba with more-contemporary jazz. [1] [3] His "unique" [1] acoustic guitar style involves a syncopated rhythm of plucked chords, with chord progressions rooted in the jazz tradition. [3] His vocal style has been described as "laid-back and understated". [3] Leonardo Rocha, in his obituary for the BBC, states that Gilberto's music describes "a period of huge optimism in Brazil". [1]

Personal life

Gilberto first married the singer Astrud, with whom he collaborated on the hit recording of "The Girl from Ipanema"; the couple had a son. They divorced, and he later married the singer Miúcha (died 2018); they had a daughter, Bebel Gilberto, who is also a singer. They later separated. Gilberto also had a daughter with Claudia Faissol, a journalist. [1] [3]

Gilberto lived alone from around 2009. His final years were marked by money problems as well as declining health. [1] In 2011, he was sued and evicted from an apartment in Leblon by his landlord, Countess Georgina Brandolini d'Adda. [19] It was reported in December 2017 that his daughter Bebel was seeking control of his financial affairs because of his declining mental state and increasing indebtedness. [20]

On 6 July 2019, Gilberto died at his apartment in Rio de Janeiro. [21] His body was buried in Niterói following a private ceremony on 8 July 2019. [22]

Writing in The Guardian after his death, Dom Phillips described Gilberto as ".. one of the country’s greatest musicians and composers, a reclusive genius in a nation of extroverts whose work recalled happier, more optimistic times for a deeply divided nation." [23] In The Washington Post pop critic Chris Richards said, "His voice was one of the most intimate sounds of the 20th century — more melodic than a sigh, more rhythmic than chitchat, only just barely. Every syllable that appeared on his lips carried an air of effortlessness, but Gilberto had worked hard to locate that sacred place where a human breath becomes music." [24]

Discography

Gilberto released several studio and live albums: [25]

Gilberto in concert, 1996 Joao Gilberto.jpg
Gilberto in concert, 1996

Related Research Articles

The Girl from Ipanema song by Antônio Carlos Jobim

"Garota de 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.

<i>Jazz Samba</i> 1962 studio album by Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd

Jazz Samba is a bossa nova album by Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd released by Verve Records in 1962. Jazz Samba signaled the beginning of the bossa nova craze in America. Stan Getz was the featured soloist and the tracks were arranged by Charlie Byrd, who had first heard bossa nova during a tour of Brazil in 1961.

"Chega de Saudade" is often considered to be the first recorded bossa nova song. The music was composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim and the lyrics were written by Vinícius de Moraes. João Gilberto's recording is the most famous.

<i>Chega de Saudade</i> (album) 1959 studio album by João Gilberto

Chega de Saudade is the debut album by Brazilian musician João Gilberto and is often credited as the first bossa nova album. The title can be translated roughly as "enough longing", though the Portuguese word saudade carries with it more complex meaning.

"Corcovado" is a bossa nova song written by Antônio Carlos Jobim in 1960. An English lyric was later written by Gene Lees. The Portuguese title refers to the Corcovado mountain in Rio de Janeiro. Andy Williams recorded the song with English lyrics, reaching #92 in the Billboard Hot 100 and #18 in the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart in 1965. Also receiving air-play, contemporaneously with Andy Williams' recording of "Quiet Nights," was Kitty Kallen's version. Her album, titled "Quiet Nights," was released by 20th Century-Fox Records in 1964.

"How Insensitive" is a bossa nova song composed by Brazilian musician Antônio Carlos Jobim. The lyrics were written in Portuguese by Vinícius de Moraes and in English by Norman Gimbel. In Brazil the song goes by the title "Insensatez", though it translates more accurately to "How Foolish". The song resembles Chopin's prelude in E minor.

<i>Canção do Amor Demais</i> 1958 studio album by Elizete Cardoso

Canção do Amor Demais is 1958 album by Elizete Cardoso. It is often considered the first bossa nova album, and contains the first recordings of João Gilberto's guitar beat, which would go on to become a staple of bossa nova. Gilberto played guitar on "Chega de Saudade" and "Outra Vez".

João Donato Brazilian musician

João Donato de Oliveira Neto is a Brazilian jazz and bossa nova pianist from Brazil. He first worked with Altamiro Carrilho and went on to perform with Antonio Carlos Jobim and Astrud Gilberto.

<i>Stan Getz Meets João & Astrud Gilberto</i> 1990 live album by Stan Getz, João Gilberto, Astrud Gilberto

Stan Getz meets João & Astrud Gilberto: New York 1964 is a live recording of bossa nova in the making. In 1990, the Giants of Jazz label released a live recording of a 1964 New York City performance featuring Stan Getz, João Gilberto and Astrud Gilberto, his then-wife. The album, entitled Stan Getz meets João & Astrud Gilberto is actually misleading: the trio had met previously in 1963 for the recording of the wildly successful album Getz/Gilberto, which was released in 1964 and set off the bossa nova frenzy in the U.S. As a result of that album’s success, the Brazilian Gilbertos and the American Getz played a number of shows in the U.S., such as the one recorded here. Released as part of the “Immortal Concerts” series, this recording exhibits the chemistry the three obviously shared and captures bossa nova in its infancy, as it was still being created and defined.

"Samba de uma Nota Só" is a bossa nova song composed by Antônio Carlos Jobim with Portuguese lyrics by Newton Mendonça. The English lyrics were written by Jon Hendricks. It was first recorded by João Gilberto in 1960 for his album O Amor, o Sorriso e a Flor.

<i>O Amor, o Sorriso e a Flor</i> 1960 studio album by João Gilberto

O Amor, o Sorriso e a Flor is a studio album by João Gilberto, released in Brazil in 1960. The Portuguese title translates to The Love, the Smile and the Flower.

<i>Big Band Bossa Nova</i> (Stan Getz album) 1962 studio album by Stan Getz

Big Band Bossa Nova is a 1962 album by saxophonist Stan Getz with the Gary McFarland Orchestra. The album was arranged and conducted by Gary McFarland and produced by Creed Taylor for Verve Records. This was Stan's second bossa nova album for Verve following Jazz Samba, his very successful collaboration with guitarist Charlie Byrd.

"Só Danço Samba" is a bossa nova song composed in 1962 by Antônio Carlos Jobim, with lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes. English lyrics were later written by Norman Gimbel. On occasion, it has also been known as "Jazz Samba" and "I Only Dance Samba", an English translation of the original Portuguese title.

<i>Getz/Gilberto 76</i> 2016 live album by Stan Getz and João Gilberto

Getz/Gilberto '76 is a live album by saxophonist Stan Getz and guitarist/vocalist João Gilberto which was recorded at Keystone Korner in 1976 and released on the Resonance label in 2016.

"Vivo Sonhando" is a bossa nova song from 1962 with words and music by Antônio Carlos Jobim. English lyrics were added later by Gene Lees.

References

Citations

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  2. "Brazilian musician João Gilberto dies aged 88". The Guardian . 6 July 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Robin Denselow (6 July 2019). "João Gilberto obituary". The Guardian . Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  4. 1 2 Dougan, John. "João Gilberto — Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  5. McGowan, Chris; Pessanha, Ricardo (1998). The Brazilian Sound: Samba, Bossa Nova, and the Popular Music of Brazil. Temple University Press. p. 68. ISBN   9781566395458.
  6. Ruggiero, Bob (26 June 2014). "The Girl From Ipanema - Still Turning (Jazz) Heads at 50". Houston Press. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  7. Chediak, Almir (1990). Bossa nova (in Portuguese). Irmãos Vitale. ISBN   9788585426347.
  8. Heckman, Don (25 July 2003). "Primed for perfection but never reached". Los Angeles Times . ISSN   0458-3035 . Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  9. Ratliff, Ben (15 June 2008). "João Gilberto's Pioneering Bossa Nova Records Are Caught In a Legal Limbo". The New York Times . Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  10. "Awards". GRAMMY.com. 30 April 2017. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  11. "Blades, Jobim Among Latin Hall Inductees". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 4 April 2001. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  12. Loudon, Christopher (1 October 2004). "Joao Gilberto: In Tokyo". JazzTimes. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  13. O'Niel, Tim (7 June 2004). "João Gilberto: In Tokyo". PopMatters. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  14. "Complete list of 6th annual Latin Grammy nominations". Orange County Register. 4 November 2005. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  15. "João Gilberto to Receive Honorary Doctorate". Columbia University Department of Music. 12 April 2017. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  16. 1 2
  17. Clarin.com. "El drama de Joao Gilberto, uno de los padres de la bossa nova" (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  18. "Brazil mourns bossa nova founder João Gilberto as he is buried in Rio". Reuters. 8 July 2019. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  19. Phillips, Dom (7 July 2019). "Brazil mourns death of musician João Gilberto" via www.theguardian.com.
  20. "Perspective | João Gilberto sang lullabies to the future". Washington Post.

Sources