GETZ/GILBERTO / “The Girl From Ipanema”

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5 Responses to “GETZ/GILBERTO / “The Girl From Ipanema””

Marian Says:
August 8th, 2005 at 9:46 pm

And what happened to the lawsuit? Did the families drop their case—

Girl from Ipanema is sued over the song she inspired
by Philip Delves Broughton
(Filed: 13/08/2001)

TALL, tanned, now 57, and still beautiful, The Girl from Ipanema is being sued by the families of the men who made her famous.

Sixties original: Heloisa Pinheiro, The Girl from Ipanema

Heloisa Pinheiro, the inspiration for the most famous bossa nova song, recently opened a boutique in Rio de Janeiro called The Girl from Ipanema.

The families of the song’s writers, however, say she has no right to use the song for commercial purposes.

The shopowners along the fabled Ipanema beach in Rio have rallied behind Mrs Pinheiro, known to all as Helo, while those suing her have been portrayed as enemies of the laid-back beach life so vital to Brazilian culture.

Castro (Jason) Says:
August 10th, 2005 at 5:03 pm

Baba Kalamu,

I just read in the Washington Post about the passing of Keeter Betts, a Bass virtuoso who apparently convinced Charlie Byrd to start recording Bossa Nova tunes after they visited Brazil on a cultural exchange trip in the 50’s.

Saudade…I’m sitting here laughing because this is similar to the discussions we have in our Capoeira group about the concept of ‘Malicia’. To an English speaker, when we see Malicia we think Malice- bad intent. Malicia is the concept of trickery in Capoeira, and it doesn’t have a moral foundation- it just is. Malicia involves things like pretending to pay attention to someone watching you play to trick your partner into thinking you aren’t paying attention- kinda like a no look pass in Basketball. It could mean holding your hands up in front of a person and when they get close, feigning a poke in the eye. You aren’t a villain if you use it while playing Capoeira; in fact, it is welcome for several reasons: 1) by employing Malicia, you are helping the person you play exercise and expand their attention to detail, 2) you are showing your own attention to detail, 3) a no look pass is more entertaining than a regular pass any day…

I think Saudade can be interpreted the same way- it is a longing, but without the implication that you are without, its just a state of desire that fits into the whole ‘cool’ vibe that you get in Bossa Nova, and that is why I think you hear it used as a theme in a lot of popular Brazilian songs.

Ed Motta is the troof- I’d like to hear his take.

Ken Says:
August 11th, 2005 at 8:57 pm

Mtume–frank analysis of Astrud Gilberto’s proficiency as a singer. It made me wince. But I think of recording like "One-Note Samba. " It reminds one of her limitations–but also a wonderful emotional quality within that range. Hers is a speaking-singing voice and somehow moving.

This discussion got me thinking of a prior threads of Kalamu’s RE: Kelis and young artists searching for self and fusion artists (Bob James) and perhaps even the Jean/Doug Carn string. It seems that a number of us in my age group (born mid 1960’s) had to come to jazz music in a roundabout way. In my own "musical progression," I had to go through Bob James and Jeff Lorber Fusion (i.e. Kenny G) and Grover Washingon, Jr. and Dexter Wansel to get to Lonnie Liston Smith. Then, finally to my first straight-ahead album, "Giant Steps: (needless to say, a revelation). Of course, there were always progressive concurrent streams in R&B I was listening to–Marvin, Stevie, early 70’s Isleys, Gil Scott Heron, etc. But I was in my late 20’s before I had any real exposure to the jazz canon. The contributions of artists like The Carns are still fairly novel to me. I think Kalamu explains with great eloquence why "a generation(s?)" of us know so little about these composers/singers/gifted artists: the machinations of the music industry but also the "threat" that progressive forms of music seem to pose to powerbrokers in our country (I’m thinking in particular of Kalamu’s thread on the Doug/Jean album photo).

One other thing about how we come to knowledge. The other end of my jazz education has been through hip-hop, i.e. folks younger than I am. When The Pharcyde sampled "Saudaude Vem Correndo," that pointed me to bossa nova (and Gilberto and Jobim and helped me place value on Getz–who I’d felt Bill Clinton had picked as his favorite saxophonist because of complexion). When A Tribe Called Quest sampled "Red Clay," that pointed me to Freddie Hubbard, which folded into my burgeoning affection for Art Blakey/Lee Morgan/Bobby Timmons. Yeah, its clear that a good many contemporary R& B/ hip-hop artists are lost. But it’s equally clear that many are truly grounded "in the tradition" and have been/are educating some of us all along the continuum.

Mtume says:                                                        

Very nice post, Ken. I neglected to comment on the emotional impact of Astrud’s singing. You’re right, her singing is very evocative. It communicates a lot of sadness and, simultaneously, innocence. It sounds a lot like an audible example of Moraes’ comment: "the feeling of the youth that passes." In a way, her shortcomings are her strength.

And on the hip-hop/jazz thing, I think you’re right again. Many, many jazz records and CDs are bought by hip-hop heads who got into jazz via samples. We’re probably not listening to the music in the same way that a jazz head would listen (OK, we’re definitely not listening in the same way), but we are listening. In the end, that’s all we can ask for. That we listen to each other.

neek Says:
August 13th, 2005 at 5:07 am

Saudade is sometimes sad becauce she has never seen her stepbrother, Duende, who lives across the ocean…

A Lurker Says:
August 13th, 2005 at 10:27 pm

When I was in Brazil, “The Girl From Ipanema” was featured in a nude spread with her daughter. She was pushing 50 or something and she was still quite proud of herself. I wonder what says about fame, sex, self esteem, self-aggrandizement and/or Brazilian culture.

Also, yes, Cape Verdean Portuguese is very different from Brazilian Portuguese which is very different from Portuguese from Portugal. Saudade is the correct spelling in Brazilian Portuguese and Sodade is probably the correct spelling from “Cabo Verde.”

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