- A superb sounding copy with Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish; exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- Both of these sides are clean, clear and open with lovely breathy vocals, plenty of Tubey Magic, and less of the grit and grain the plagues the average copy
- “The back cover of this Capitol LP claims “Here’s the album that started it all,” and to an extent that is true. A year before Stan Getz first met up with Charlie Byrd to launch bossa nova in the United States, Joao Gilberto (with backing by an orchestra led by Antonio Carlos Jobim) recorded a dozen bossa nova performances, including “One Note Samba,” “Meditation,” “Corcovado” and even “I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover.” – All Music, 4 1/2 Stars
This vintage Capitol pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.
If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.
What amazing sides such as these have to offer is not hard to hear:
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1960
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
What We Listen For on Gilberto and Jobim
- The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
Samba de Uma Nota Só (One Note Samba)
Só em Teus Braços (Only in Your Arms)
Trevo de 4 Folhas (I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover)
Se é Tarde Me Perdôa (Forgive Me If I’m Late)
Um Abraço no Bonfá (A Salute to Bonfá [popular Brazilian Guitarist])
O Pato (The Duck)
Amor Certinho (True Love)
Outra Vez (Once Again)
AMG 4 1/2 Star Review
A year before Stan Getz first met up with Charlie Byrd to launch bossa nova in the United States, Joao Gilberto (with backing by an orchestra led by Antonio Carlos Jobim) recorded a dozen bossa nova performances, including “One Note Samba,” “Meditation,” “Corcovado” and even “I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover.” But since this record was not heard domestically until after bossa nova caught on, it had less of an impact than one would expect. The emphasis is on Gilberto’s voice (and his guitar during the instrumental “Um Abraco No Bonfa”) during the very brief renditions, all of which are under two minutes.