At the end of the Fifties, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes and João Gilberto breathed a new sensitivity into the atmosphere of Rio de Janeiro: they introduced samba rhythms into the city's tristeza and felicidade. A new kind of music was born, one that bore a relationship to spleen, a kind of moody feeling, yet it showed glimmers of hope that mingled with a "cool" spirit relying on syncopated and relaxed rhythms. New winds began to blow over the music of Brazil. All that was needed were a few albums from Rio (such as Chega de Saudade by Joao Gilberto), the film Orfeo Negro directed by Marcel Camus (it received the Palme d'Or Award at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival), plus the curiosity of a dozen American jazz musicians, for Bossa Nova to become a music style that would completely dominated the first half of the Sixties. The sincerity of Brazil's music, of course, seemed eclipsed inside American arrangements whose subtleties were still hesitant in 1962, but the contribution of Bossa Nova to the jazz of that period could not be ignored. Jazz owes its richness to the vitality of the exchanges between its musicians, even if some people saw the Bossa Nova played in New York as taking a too northerly direction, or being too "American". But listening to these four sides — recorded in the space of just four years reveals how much those exchanges made jazz music even richer.
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.