This was another record my father played for me for I could walk. And when people ask me if I’m Brazilian, it’s because these rhythms were among the first that I ever heard. It’s kin to the ability to pronounce certain sounds in languages that we lose we try to learn them later in life. I don’t claim to be an expert, but the music and I’ve played with echoes of Bossa Nova and samba is a direct result of this and the Joao Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim records in heavy rotation when I was playing the Quaker Oats drum!
This was another record in my cassette collection as I busked around Europe after college. Though I’d had the sounds in my head for years, it was during that time that I actually figured out the chords that would shape my songwriting after that.
It’s really the vocal songs that get me on this album, that slightly flat, vibrato-less, innocent and intimate voice made fall in love before I knew what that was. It was such a thrill in the 90s to actually meet Astrud Gilberto after a show at Catalina Jazz Club.
And Kenny Burrell is the guitar player! I didn’t put that together until I met him also in the early 90s, realizing that the sound that felt like it was part of me from birth was the man I was helping to play records for his Duke Ellington class at UCLA.
I think that Burrell’s warmth and Gilberto’s purity are things that I’ve aspired to put in the brew whatever music I’ve created.
I won’t say that this is a perfect album, but it was the welcoming invitation into a world of music that really enriched my life.
(And, this cover is usually on my wall…)