Closer Look: 64′ Bossa Nova

Prior to the impact of Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao Gilberto, the Brazilian music scene was primarily defined by the thumping rhythm of Samba music. By the late 1950’s, people were ready for a change and welcomed in the softer, jazzier derivative of Samba called Bossa Nova that was emanating from the beaches of Rio De Janeiro. 

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The name itself translates to “New Trend” and introduced more complex harmonies and syncopated rhythms to the Brazilian music scene. Harmonically, the new sounds were developed using 7th and Major 7th chords, which sound “jazzier” than typical chords. The Bossa Nova rhythm was a syncopated take on 2/4 time and was subtler than the traditional percussion-heavy sound of Samba. This slightly less pronounced rhythm created a space for the vibrant chord progressions and melodies to shine. These elements helped create a whole new lane of Brazilian music that was soon to take the world by storm.

Antonio Carlos Jobim

By the 60’s, Bossa Nova had spread its wings and made it to the United States where it became popular and heavily influential within the Jazz community. In fact, Jobim, Gilberto and other key names of the Bossa Nova movement played a show at Carnegie Hall in 1962 and showed American musicians what Brazil had to offer. The popularity and influence of Bossa Nova exploded after this concert and many musicians in the United States scrambled to incorporate elements from the genre into their own music. The legendary Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra both devoted whole albums to Antonio Carlos Jobim’s music.  Since then, Bossa Nova has kept its place in music and continued to influence countless artists from all sorts of different genres.

Joao and Astrud Gilberto

Stan Getz, Joao Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim – Doralice

Nara Leao – Diz Que Fui Por Ai

Claudette Soares- Mar Amar

Thelma- Maria Moita

Wilson Simonal- Lobo Bobo

Tenorio Jr.- Nebulosa

Antonio Carlos Jobim- Berimbau

The New Stan Getz Quartet, Astrud Gilberto- Eu E Voco

Paul Desmond- Bossa Antigua

Roberto Carlos- O Calhambeque

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