This is a 1959 bossa no­va by An­to­nio Car­los Jo­bim and New­ton Mendonça; the ti­tle means some­thing like “Out of Tune” and is exquisite­ly in­cor­rec­t. It has been record­ed a stag­ger­ing num­ber of times. I’m here to talk about my fa­vorite ver­sion, with Jo­bim guest­ing on a record­ing by Stan Getz and João Gil­ber­to.

Getz/Gilberto album cover

It’s on a 1964 al­bum called Get­z/Gil­ber­to, which is fab­u­lous end-to-end. It al­so in­cludes Girl from Ipane­ma which re­mains so beau­ti­ful all those decades lat­er, al­though its gen­der pol­i­tics prob­a­bly haven’t aged well.

Here’s a sto­ry about this record: Down Beat, the jazz mag­a­zine, used to have this fea­ture called the “blindfold test” where they’d play some tracks for a mu­si­cian with­out telling him or her who they were, and ask for one- to five-star rat­ings. One time, the com­men­ta­tor was Miles Dav­is, who was re­al­ly a mean guy, and he pissed on sev­er­al of the record­ings  —  some now re­gard­ed as clas­sics  —  from a great height. But they put on De­sa­fi­na­do and he said:

Gil­ber­to and Stan Getz made an al­bum to­geth­er? Stan plays good on that. I like Gil­ber­to; I'm not par­tic­u­lar­ly crazy about just anybody’s bossa no­va. I like the sam­ba. And I like Stan, be­cause he has so much pa­tience, the way he plays those melodies - oth­er peo­ple can’t get noth­ing out of a song, but he can. Which takes a lot of imag­i­na­tion, that he has, that so many oth­er peo­ple don’t have.

As for Gil­ber­to, he could read a news­pa­per and sound good! I’ll give that one five stars.

Gilberto, Jobim, Getz

I’m with Miles. But like I said, there are a whole lot of ver­sions out there; chances are there are one or two I’d be rec­om­mend­ing here if I’d heard them. You re­al­ly can’t go far wrong with this tune.

This is part of the Song of the Day se­ries (back­ground).

Links · Spo­ti­fy playlist. This tune on Ama­zon, iTunes, Spo­ti­fy. I can’t find live video of this band play­ing the tune, but here’s Gil­ber­to so­lo, Gil­ber­to and Jo­bim, and Getz with Char­lie Byrd.


author · Dad · software · colophon · rights

April 01, 2018
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