Bossa Nova Sua Historia Sua Gente Philips / Polygram Original release 1975 CD reissue, unknown date
01 - Sofrer é da Vida - Mario Reis 02 - Você - Dick Farney e Norma Bengel 03 - Nós e o Mar - Doris Monteiro 04 - Só Danço Samba - Donato e Seu Trio 05 - Mocinho Bonito - Billy Blanco 06 - Samba do Avião - Cariocas 07 - Rio - Lucio Alves 08 - As Praias Desertas - Elizete Cardoso 09 - Último Canto - Agostinho dos Santos 10 - Influência do Jazz - Leny Andrade 11 - Minha Saudade - Tamba Trio 12 - Por Toda Minha Vida - Lenita Bruno 13 - Tristeza de Nós Dois - Luiz Eca 14 - Tem Mais Samba - Quarteto em Cy 15 - Boranda - Edu Lobo & Tamba Trio 16 - Berimbau - Baden Powell 17 - The Girl From Ipanema - Astrud Gilberto 18 - Carta ao Tom 74 - Vinícius e Toquinho
01 - Samba da Pergunta - João Gilberto 02 - Samba de Verão - Roberto Menescal e Seu Conjunto 03 - Demais - Maysa 04 - Folha de Papel - Sergio Ricardo 05 - Chora Tua Tristeza - Conj Oscar Castro Neves 06 - Ao Amigo Tom - Claudette Soares 07 - Você e Eu - Sylvia Telles 08 - Coisa Mais Linda - Carlos Lyra 09 - Ela é Carioca - Sergio Mendes e Bossa Trio 10 - Maria Bonita - Nara Leão 11 - Upa Neguinho - Lennie Dale 12 - Que Maravilha - Zimbo Trio 13 - De Palavra em Palavra - Mpb4 14 - Chuva - Os Gatos 15 - Tema do Boneca de Palha - Rosinha de Valença 16 - Olha Maria - Chico Buarque 17 - So Tinha de Ser com Você - Elis & Tom 18 - Ana Luiza - Tom Jobim
There are a lot of bossa nova compilations out there, and a lot of them are pretty shitty. This one is a good enough listen, though not nearly as Earth-shaking as some of the reviews I've seen on the internet might indicate. In fact, T. "Strokin"Jurek must have a different record than the one I have - not only does it not feature any tracks by Jorge Ben as he claims (rather, it has a medley of Ben songs performed by Zimbo Trio, however, which is a big difference), but it also does NOT contain "credits and complete song details" in any way. What my copy has is an essay-style account of bossa nova with information on key composers, artists, producers and arrangers. Not song credits. Maybe Jurek has a different edition, or maybe he doesn't read or speak Portuguese? If so he should probably stop being paid to write reviews of anthological Brazilian releases. What Jurek also seems ignorant of is that astute fans of this music don't gripe about compilations like this because they are fond of "nit picking." Usually they are motivated for a love of music that exceeds the profit motive of the companies that put it out. A case in point can usually be found in any compilation claiming to represent an entire musical movement, such as this one. Even in the 1960s, the Brazilian recording industry was consolidated in very few hands, with each label being pretty equally possessive of its own artists and covetous of its neighbors. As you will see, that has resulted in some misleading attempts to anthologize.
This collection was originally released as a triple-LP box with an oversized booklet. I own both the vinyl and CD and for once we are at least lucky to have a CD booklet that replicates the info in the original vinyl down to the letter. Unfortunately that info is still kind of vague on the sort of info fans want, such as the provenance of the tracks - the dates, the records they came from, who may have played on them - in fact just the sort of info that Jurek claims comes with this set but does not. It's my feeling this is a pretty deliberate choice. Philips didn't even exist as a discrete record label during the heydey of bossa nova, but rather took over what had been CBD (Companhia Brasileira dos Discos) and eventually acquired the Elenco label and their catalog in the early 70s. So this compilation is missing all kinds of crucial stuff released by the EMI-Odeon and RGE labels, for example. To make things more confusing, some of the artists associated with those labels appear here on selections recorded after they had signed contracts with Philips (João Gilberto, Chico Buarque, Zimbo Trio). They are great songs, but these artists' canonical contributions to bossa nova are found on their first few records, and not the ones recorded for Phillips.
What this compilation does do really well is fill in gaps in the fan's knowledge of artists either within bossa nova or who were seminal and influential on its formation (even if some of them - like Dick Farney - are once again featured in post-1970 contexts). A lot of material, however, isn't actually bossa nova but samba canção, a genre that provided a lot of the roots, repertoire, and inspiration for bossa nova but which is distinct enough that its progenitors were initially scandalized by the deviations in rhythms and intervals that the kids brought to the block. Although it's not clear how much is intentional and how much is a product of the contractual shenanigans on who has rights to what songs, this record ends up being a cool compilation that manages to avoid repeating the cliched representations of bossa nova (with the exception fo Girl From Ipanema), even at the expense of omitting most of its key compositions and recordings. Extra points for including tracks from Os Cariocas, Carlos Lyra, Agostinho dos Santos, US expatriat Lennie Dale, Silvia Telles, and Billy Blanco.