ASTRUD GILBERTO/WALTER WANDERLEY - A CERTAIN SMILE... (VERVE 1966) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve MP3/Flac

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When Astrud Gilberto (wife to the great singer and guitarist Joao Gilberto) sang the now-classic "The Girl from Ipanema" in 1964, she'd had no formal vocal training. It mattered little, as her laid-back sensuality overflowed through the song and propelled her on to several more musical projects. This 1966 collection with the small combo of organist Walt Wanderley, guitarist Joao Gilberto, bassist Jose Marino, and Claudio Slon on drums features Gilberto's reposed voice in such a seductive, warm light, one thinks they've died and gone to drink martinis in a Rio lounge. The album includes a mix of classic bossa nova tunes ("So Nice" and "Call Me") sung in both English and Portuguese. Astrud was as cool as a cucumber and her untrained, nonchalant grace gave her singing its unique charisma. It wasn't until the late 1980s that the world heard this sort of passive, detached persona again in the bewitching vocals of Cesaria Evora, proving once again that style and delivery are just as important as distinct vocal tone. Astrud Gilberto taught us great singers aren't made on a voice alone. --Karen K. HuggHere