Song of the Day: Bebel Gilberto, "Aganju"

Bebel Gilberto, as you might expect, is the daughter of João Gilberto and his second wife, Brazilian singer Miúcha. When her parents separated, Bebel split her time between Rio de Janiero and New York, where she was born. "Aganjau" is from her eponymous 2004 album, which was #1 on Billboard‘s list of World albums that year. Discogs calls the album a mix of bossa nova, future jazz, downtempo, and easy listenin.

Song of the Day: Elis Regina and Toots Thielemans, "Wave"

Another Jobim tune, "Wave" was the title track from his 1967 album (the one with the giraffe on the cover). Later that year, he wrote the English lyrics for it, and Frank Sinatra sang it for their 1969 joint project. It’s been recorded as both an instrumental and sung many times since, and is considered a jazz standard.

Elis Regina was considered by many to be the greatest female Brazilian singer of all time. She might still be active had she not died of an accidental overdose (cocaine, alcohol, and temazepam) in 1982 at the age of 36. She performs the song with jazz harmonica great Jean "Toots" Thielemans. I’d date this from the early to mid 1970’s.

Song of the Day: Andy Wiliams with Antonio Carlos Jobim, "Once I Loved"

In the early and mid-’60’s, everyone wanted in on the bossa nova scene. Here we have Tom Jobim on The Andy Williams Show, where he and Andy perform Jobim’s "Once I Loved" ("Uma vez eu amei"), which he wrote in 1960 and is now a jazz standard. The first minute and a half of this video is Tom telling a shaggy dog story about three girls named Oca, Coca and Loca. This was taped sometime between 1962 and 1965.

Song of the Day: Vince Guaraldi Trio, "Samba de Orpheus"

Black Orpheus (in Brazilian, Orfeu Negro) was a 1959 movie set in a Rio de Janiero slum during Carnaval. It was particularly noted for its soundtrack, which was written by two bossa nova composers, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luiz Bonfa. "Samba de Orfeu," by Bonfa, has become a bossa nova classic.

In 1962, The Vince Guaraldi Trio (Guaraldi on piano, Monty Budwig on bass, and Colin Bailey on drums) recorded the album Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus, which included several songs from the movie, including "Manha de Carnaval" (also known as "A Day In The Life Of A Fool") and "Samba de Orpheus," both by Bonfa. The album also included several other songs, including Henry Mancini’s "Moon River" and the Guaraldi original "Cast Your Fate To The Wind", which won the Grammy for Best Original Song in 1963. It was so popular that many people refer to the album by that name.

Monty Budwig’s bass playing in "Samba de Orpheus" is magnificent: he starts the song with Bailey with a solo of the melody line, and when Guaraldi comes in he reverts to playing a solid bass line behind the pianist. Everybody is right where they need to be when they need to be there: it’s a thing of beauty.