João Gilberto was born in 1931 in Brazil in the state of Bahia in Brazil, where he learned to play the guitar. He began his singing career on radio in Rio de Janeiro, and in 1957 he met Antonio Carlos Jobim. It was a decisive encounter, because Jobim would give him the chance to accompany Elizeth Cardoso and write songs for her. A new spirit was taking hold in the bars and clubs of Rio, where Vinicius de Moraes, Tom Jobim, Dorival Caymmi, Elizeth Cardoso, Maysa and Baden Powell — and soon João Gilberto — were developing a new style that embraced the vibrations of a whole young generation of Brazilians. The name of this new life force was Bossa Nova, the name given to music that featured relaxed rhythms and mingled sadness with new hope. It was this newness that João incarnated right from his first album entitled Chega de saudade (released in 1959). It was an immensely successful record, and its popularity spread far beyond Brazil. In the USA, the Bossa Nova wave touched every musician in jazz, from Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd to Quincy Jones, Herbie Mann and others including Lalo Schifrin (cf. the Masters of Jazz album Jazz Bossa Nova). The three albums that Joao Gilberto recorded between 1958 and 1962 formed the foundations of the style was later recognized throughout the world as Bossa Nova.
The history of music shows us that different kinds and forms follow each other. And that the latest trend overshadows the one that came before it. Today it's difficult to say exactly which trend dominates, as there are so many music currents that overlap and intersect. Mainstream exists no longer. Yet one thing is certain: each music form is built on the music that precedes it. There would be no jazz without classical music, no rock without blues, no rock without jazz, no rap without soul music, no sampling without the riffs of either soul or rock… and therefore, inside each genre you find different chapters in the history of music. And that is why it is so important to understand their origins: they shed the light that is necessary for an understanding of the music born every day.
The richness of jazz lies at the origin of so much music today that it is essential to discover this creative wealth. The Essential Works of Masters of Jazz bring to light those 20th century creations that still exert an influence on the majority of musicians today — whether they are aware of it or not.
The Essential Works of Masters of Jazz gather the fundamental creations of the music of today.