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Jazz Samba (VME - Remastered) Original recording reissued

117 customer reviews

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Jazz Samba
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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, May 20, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Guitarist Charlie Byrd was invited to travel and play in Brazil during a cultural goodwill tour sponsored by the Kennedy administration in 1961. He was completely enamoured by the music, and when he returned, he headed straight for the recording studio to make the now classic Jazz Samba. Collaborating with Stan Getz on tenor sax and backed by a band that included Gene Byrd (bass, guitar), Keter Betts (bass), and Buddy Deppenschmidt and Bill Reichenbach (drums), Byrd forged a new and brilliant sound. American record companies were to churn out hundreds of watered bossa-pop albums that have since given the style its lounge-addled image, but this album stands as a tribute to the vitality and adaptability of jazz. --Louis Gibson
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 20, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B0000047CW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,551 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Jon Warshawsky on November 7, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
How do you critique the album that started an era? Forty years later, Jazz Samba is still one of the most relaxing, rhythmically pleasing albums made. All instrumental, with the tenor sax of Stan Getz (the guy John Coltrane professed to admire!) and inspired guitar of Charlie Byrd. The entire album was recorded in one session in the performance hall of a Washington, D.C., church, and it puts legions of studio albums to shame.
While Desafinado and Bahia are the best known tracks, the album is a seamless experience and it is difficult to single out certain songs as superior. If Getz is one of the masters of the tenor saxophone, it is also hard to separate his proficiency from the effort as a whole -- it truly comes across as a tight ensemble effort. (For a contrast, Duke Ellington's masterful and equally essential Money Jungle released the same year finds the trio of Ellington, Mingus and Max Roach locked in a musical duel on a couple of tracks.)
Favorites? I enjoy Samba de Uma Nota So, but every time I reach for Jazz Samba I alway listen to the entire album. At least once. This and Getz/Gilberto belong in every jazz collection.
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By rash67 VINE VOICE on July 15, 1998
Format: Audio CD
"Great companion to "Getz/Gilberto". Pure Samba without singers.

Charlie Byrd went to Brazil and heard the then unknown Antonio Carlos Jobim. He played Jobim records for Stan Getz, they got Keter Betts and two drummers went to All Soul's Unitarian Church in DC, and created the first Bossa Nova, Samba record in the US - a monster hit with "Desafinado". It changed America, and Jazz forever. For a decade every Jazz player tried to imitate it. The best selling Jazz CD of the decade, that's how good it is. A number one Hit of the Billboard Jazz, Pop and Rock charts at the same time. No other Jazz album, not other album of any type, not even "Kind of Blue", even "Getz /Gilberto", has ever achieved that.

Listen to subtle polyrhythym drumming from Deppenschmidt & Riechenbach which add an authentic Carnivale touch. There is more traditional Samba polyrhythm on this CD than any of the subsequent Getz Bossa Nova CD's and most BN cd's by subsequent artists who tried to capitalize om the BN craze. Hear this on "E Luxo So".

Stan floats and soars in "Desafinado" (Portuguese for "offkey"), "E Luxo So" and "Bahia". Most authentic Brazilian Getz Samba recording.

Hear Stan make each note 3-Dimensional blue fog note count."

Beautiful!, Lyrical!! Soaring!!! One of the ten best Jazz recordings ever made."
from my 1998 review

2006 update
Yes it's true, as wonderful a sax man as Getz was, and I think he was the best, he was cheap. He got all the credit and most of the money for this album and he and Byrd fought over the rights to it for a decade in the courts.
Nevertheless its' wonderful. - maybe that's why they fought
This CD is a perennial favorite that never grows old.
Read more ›
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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful By darragh o'donoghue on July 11, 2001
Format: Audio CD
the perfect introduction to U.S.-filtered bossa nova. I say 'U.S.' because the sound Charlie Byrd and Stan Getz bring to these classics are considerably smoother and broader than originals which can be often raspy or intensely private, but always richly nuanced. Getz's playing is masterfully self-effacing, never virtuosic for its own sake: you might forget he's even there as he conducts intimate conversations with Byrd's often Reinhardt-like guitar, or the quietly insistent rhythms, and yet he is the soul of this beach music that sounds so sad.
The best tracks are the old Jobim favourites 'Desafinado' and 'One note samba', in which the familiar melodies are taken through the most intricate, yet never alienating, variations, always obeying that hypnotic bossa nova beat. 'E Luxo Se' is a wide-eyed beauty, beaming the kind of melody that makes you instantly happy no matter how miserable you felt before you heard it. The same could be said for the whole of this marvellous album, perhaps best listened to at night when you're feeling weary, ready to dream...
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By G B on August 16, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is the album that kicked off the bossa nova craze in the US over 40 years ago. In the hands of lesser musicians this style could degenerate into lightweight cocktail music, but not here. Stan Getz's feathery, soft saxophone playing weaves beautiful melodies over the swaying, dancing Brazilian rhythms. Charlie Byrd's is terrific on the acoustic guitar and the tunes will get stuck in your head after 3 spins or less. The only possible complaint is the short playing time -- a mere 35 minutes.
This recording isn't as well-known as Getz/Gilberto but is just as essential. If you like Getz's playing, be sure to get some of his other, non-bossa-nova recordings as well. (One more caveat: those looking for more vocals by Astrud or Joao Gilberto will be disappointed -- this CD is entirely instrumental.)
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Rohan Tissa de Silva on March 26, 2005
Format: Audio CD
See John Warshawsky's review above, he obviously knows what he's talking about. This is one of those essential albums for any jazz collection. First off, it's a masterful album, every song fits, and in order, this is the way albums used to be constructed before the day and age of progammable CDs. I find a lot of people my age know the old records were better than new CDs, but aren't sure why, well that's a big reason, the attention they used to pay to the order and mix of songs on an LP, and it doesn't get any better than this one. Second, this is an historic album in that it introduced the Brazilian bossa nova-samba, faster than 120-beats-per-second sound, to North America, and Europe (and Japan) and from there (or then) it became a jazz staple genre. This was the era that saw the end of WWII big band music give way to "cool" small combo jazz, and Brazilian samba became the "other" Latin style jazz (in addition to the "hot" Afro-Cuban jazz coming out of Bebop). So the third reason this CD is a jazz classic is that it represents jazz greats Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd at their best. If you're new to jazz, try this out. If you're a fan of Brazilian music, see what Americans did with it. If you're a smooth jazz fan, try out some of this real jazz, you may never go back to the elevator music. If you want to set a "cool" mood for a party, a coffee shop, a restaurant, or your office, slip this into your working collection. If you're a saxophone or guitar musician or music student you really must own this CD.
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