Astrud Gilberto - Manha de Carnaval (1964)
Duke Pearson - Bunda Amerela (1968)
Duke Pearson’s light-stepping late 60s bossa nova focuses on the soloing talents of Jerry Dodgion’s flute and Bobby Hutcherson’s inimitable vibraphone.
John Patton - Latona (1965)
Good gravy, this one’s a burner. John Patton builds a fire with his undulating organ-tronics, coaxing Grant Green and Bobby Hutcherson into memorable solos.
Blue Mitchell - Samba De Stacy (1965)
Currently on repeat on the car stereo, this lilting bossa nova is reminiscent of Dexter Gordon’s Manha De Carnaval and recalls elements of Lee Morgan’s Ceora, but what’s special here is listening to a quintet that spent much of the intervening year between their 1964 The Thing To Do session and this recording becoming an absolutely airtight unit. Phyl Garland’s liner notes quote Mitchell:
"We’re more together," he readily comments, "and have a stronger sense of unity in performance."
Much of this has come about as a result of the experience they’ve gained in polishing their numbers before audiences at Minton’s in Manhattan, Lennie’s on the Turnpike in Boston, the Crawford Grill in Pittsburgh, and other standard jazz houses. So, it is, that everything on this disc is tried, tested, and certain to satisfy. Furthermore, the material is rich in melody, rhythm, and imagination.”
Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd - Samba De Uma Nota So (1962)
From Allmusic’s album review:
Jazz Samba stands on its own artistic merit as a shimmering, graceful collection that’s as subtly advanced — in harmony and rhythm — as it is beautiful. Getz and his co-billed partner, guitarist Charlie Byrd — who was actually responsible for bringing bossa nova records to the U.S. and introducing Getz to the style — have the perfect touch for bossa nova’s delicate, airy texture. For his part, Byrd was one of the first American musicians to master bossa nova’s difficult, bubbling syncopations, and his solos are light and lilting. Meanwhile, Getz’s playing is superb, simultaneously offering a warm, full tone and a cool control of dynamics; plus, Byrd’s gently off-kilter harmonies seem to stimulate Getz’s melodic inventiveness even more than usual. But beyond technique, Getz intuitively understands the romanticism and the undercurrent of melancholy inherent in the music, and that’s what really made Jazz Samba such a revelatory classic.
Let’s ease that Monday ennui.
Bobby Timmons - Book’s Bossa (1967)
Building off the original recording by composers Cedar Walton and Walter Booker on Donald Byrd’s Slow Drag, Bobby Timmons swings—as always—for the fences, with feathery accompaniment from guitarist Joe Beck.
Dizzy Gillespie - Chega De Saudade (1962)
Diz pays homage to Antonio Carlos Jobim with a rousing live rendition of this Jobim standard, also known in English as “No More Blues.”
Astrud Gilberto w/ Antonio Carlos Jobim - Agua de Beber (1965)
Admit it: you love bossa nova and Brasil.
Kenny Dorham - Mamacita (1964)
Compared to an earlier version of this Joe Henderson recorded with Blue Mitchell, this cut features two of the era’s best exploratory soundscapers, Dorham and Henderson, cooking with a rhythm section that brings home the dinner.
Bobby Timmons - O Grande Amor (1965)
This is Bobby Timmons’ jaunty interpretation of the great Jobim bossa nova classic, with sensitive accompaniment from Keter Betts and Albert “Tootie” Heath.
Dexter Gordon - Manha De Carnaval (1965)
Some of Blue Note’s efforts in the 60s to create a commercially viable “Brazilian bossa nova” sound come off as derivative and obvious, but there are a few LPs where the specific alchemy of musicians, instruments and mood find the sweet spot. This is one of them.
Lee Morgan - Davisamba (1966)
This recording spent 18 years in the Blue Note vaults. Lucky for jazz listeners, Michael Cuscuna found it, blew the dust off, and released it so that we can experience another LP of Morgan/Mobley magic, underpinned by a rhythm section’s rhythm section of Cedar Walton, Paul Chambers and Billy Higgins. Bliss.