It is one of the biggest selling jazz albums of all time and turned more people on to the genre, and of course the rhythms of Brazil, than any other record. For this 50th anniversary reissue it comes newly remastered in both mono and stereo, with the mono version making its CD debut and the stereo album in its original left-right configuration for the first time since its vinyl release. Additional bonus tracks include the U.S. single versions of The Girl From Ipanema and Corcovado, its original B-side.
It was in March 1963 at A & R Studios in New York City that Stan Getz along with pianist Antonio Carlos Jobim, Tommy Williams on bass, drummer Milton Banana (he was born Antônio de Souza), guitarist Joao Gilberto accompanied by his wife Astrud Gilberto recorded this seminal album. From the cover painting by Olga Albizu, admittedly from Puerto Rico, to the soft samba sounds, to the subject of the songs – Corcovado and Ipanema are in Rio de Janeiro – Getz/Gilberto oozes Brazil from every groove.
Released a year later it made No.2 on the Billboard charts and went on to spend close to two years on the best seller list. In 1965 it won the Grammy for Best Album of the Year across all musical genres, the first time a jazz album was so rewarded, and has subsequently continued to be one of the half dozen best selling jazz albums of all time. Aside from all that it proves conclusively that jazz can be commercial and artistically satisfying. When Billboard reviewed the LP in April 1964 they simply said, “The sensuous tenor sax of Stan Getz combines with the soft edged voice of Brazil’s famous Joaõ Gilberto in a program of lovely Brazilian music.” So possibly no one expected it to do as well as it did.