This 1962 date by tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse celebrates a grander and funkier scale of what Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd did earlier in 1962 with the bossa nova. Unlike Getz, Rouse didn't feel he needed to be a purist about it, and welcomed all sorts of Afro-Caribbean variations into his music. His choice of bandmates reflects that: a three-piece percussion section with drummer Willie Bobo, conguero Carlos "Patato" Valdes, and Garvin Masseaux on chekere (a beaded percussion instrument that is played by being shaken). Add to this bassist Larry Gales, and a pair of guitarists, Kenny Burrell, and Chauncey Westbrook, along with Rouse, and it is an unusual and exotic sextet. Burrell and Masseaux were part of Ike Quebec's band on Soul Samba, but the two recordings couldn't be more different.
Bossa Nova translated as the "new beat" or "the new style", grew out of Rio De Janeiro in 1958. The instigators were a handful of artists with a desire to break from tradition, developing the samba rhythms with the influence of cool American jazz to find a music with such a warm soul and natural rhythm that no-one can help but tap and sway to its beat. Bossa Nova is palm trees swaying, it is like melting sugar in hot coffee, it is the setting sun and warm sand underfoot. It is the sound and beat of Brazil, it is one of the world's coolest musical styles and it remains to this day one of the world's great musical treasures.
This electrifying bossa nova version of ten great songs from the West Side Story admirably showcases Bill Barron's triple-threat talent as soloist, arranger, and leader. Bill's relaxed, long-lined solos on tenor saxophone confirm him as a member of that school of "hard-nosed" lyricism wich includes Miles Davis, Stan Getz and Bill Evans.
A really cool bit of bossa jazz from reedman Buddy Collette – an artist who's not as well associated with the genre as Stan Getz or Paul Desmond – but who really cooks nicely here! The setting is relatively lean and groovy – with guitar from Howard Roberts, bass from Mel Pollan, and percussion from Leo Acosta and Darias – both of whom bring a nice sort of west coast vibe to the set, one that's different from some of the Verve bossa modes of the time. Jim Helms handled the arrangements, with a nice airy sort of mode – and Buddy plays both tenor and flute, on titles that include "Nao Pode Ser", "Porque De Moras", "A Pele Do Marfin", "A Meie Noite", "Samba Da Tartaruga", and "Amor Levado".
Enoch Light (1905-1978) has long been recognized as one of the great innovators and musical masters in the use of Latin rhythms. With this adventurous spirit, Light was one of the first to explore the American potential of Latin rhythms. When the cha-cha came along, he had the background and the imagination to know how to give it the typically American presentation that was required to take it beyond the stiff, static treatment it was receiving at the time. Enoch Lights bossa nova treatment builds new fires in these familiar American tunes. At the same time, he gives the Brazilian pieces a volatile power that had never been exploited so imaginatively until this master, with the rhythm of his pulsating big band, brought his exciting, magic touch to them.
The Story of Bossa Nova features 20 remastered original recordings from the late '50s/early '60s combined with a few modern interpretations of the genre, including 14 tracks written by composer Antonio Carlos Jobim. Taken from the vast EMI-Odeon archive of classic Brazilian music, this introductory set includes Marcos Valle's "Samba De Verao," Sylvia Telles' "Dindi," and the pre-Astrud Gilberto version of "Girl From Ipanema" by Pery Ribeiro.