João Gilberto died today at age 88. I only knew about him peripherally. I had heard the name and probably heard some of the album he did with Stan Getz in 1963. My mother was a huge fan of good music like this and she did play Stan Getz in the house when I was growing up. Gilberto wrote the first Bossa Nova song, titled "Bim-Bom" which is on a 1959 album called Chega De Saudade that I'm listening to on YouTube as I write this. It's only a minute and 16 seconds long. Check this out, I can sit here in front of my computer listening to very high quality sound of an album from 56 years ago as I read about João Gilberto's life on Wikipedia. These are amazing times. He made wonderful music. Gilberto's father, upset by his son's bizarre singing style and refusal to take 'normal' work, had him committed to a mental hospital. He got out in a week.
There is something special about Bosa Nova and lyrics sung in Portuguese. That language is soo beautiful to listen to. I love an album by Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin from 1985 called Harlequin where a Brazilian singer named Ivan Lins sings 3 songs. An incredible album if you get the chance to hear it.
Gilberto gave us 39 albums to listen to forever. Rest in Peace.