Joao Gilberto's self-titled.

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Otherwise known as Joao's "White Album", this is my favourite release from this Brazilian master. The songs are complex, yet played in such a relaxed manner, that they sound simple (The Joao deception!). One of the most intimate records you will hear.

Anyone else a fan?

Salvador Saca (Mr. Xolotl), Thursday, 20 May 2004 16:16 (fifteen years ago) link


Yes, I am.

@d@ml (nordicskilla), Thursday, 20 May 2004 16:20 (fifteen years ago) link

it's good

kyle (akmonday), Thursday, 20 May 2004 17:13 (fifteen years ago) link

This album is fantastic.
Kinda unbelievable that only available via Polygram Brazil...

Does he have the same magic live? He is playing Jazz festival in NY next month ...

as Joe Sixpack says:

Joao's "white album" -- a hauntingly sparse, beautiful, and quite ethereal recording. One of the best Brazilian records ever made. Sparse and gentle, graceful beyond the reach of practically any other musician alive, this includes revamped acoustic takes on several bossa nova and pre-bossa oldies, along with newer material such as his lullaby for his young daughter, Bebel, and one song each by the upstart tropicalistas, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. Gilberto sings barely at a whisper, while his percussionist is the absolute model of restraint and economy. Next to his debut albums of the 1950s, this is probably the best work Gilberto ever did -- and that's saying a lot! HIGHLY recommended.

Matt Sab (Matt Sab), Thursday, 20 May 2004 18:15 (fifteen years ago) link

Glad to see other fans of this in here. :)

Salvador Saca (Mr. Xolotl), Friday, 21 May 2004 01:39 (fifteen years ago) link

I like Daft Punk more.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Friday, 21 May 2004 01:40 (fifteen years ago) link

Alex in SF, haha. :) C'mon, I was just joking in the other thread.

Salvador Saca (Mr. Xolotl), Friday, 21 May 2004 01:41 (fifteen years ago) link

'kay. Actually I haven't heard this. It sounds good though. I will look for it.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Friday, 21 May 2004 01:43 (fifteen years ago) link

this is one of my favorite records ever, especially the second half and the lullaby to bebel

amateur!st (amateurist), Friday, 21 May 2004 04:27 (fifteen years ago) link

like Caetano says,
better than silence: nothing,
except just Joao

Begs2Differ (Begs2Differ), Friday, 21 May 2004 04:38 (fifteen years ago) link

I second, third, fourth, whatever.

Lee G (Lee G), Friday, 21 May 2004 20:13 (fifteen years ago) link

"João Gilberto's careful reappraisal of Brazilian popular music was very controversial when it first appeared, and crystallized the tendencies that became Bossa Nova. And it was then his even odder destiny to fill Carmen Miranda's shoes and represent Brazil to the rest of the world. This album, recorded in New Jersey with an American drummer, is the result of his personal inquiry into the nature of music itself. It would be easier to compare it to philosophy or religion than to most other music.

"On this record elements that had been present in his music all along are taken to their logical conclusion. As always, his music is defined as much by what it leaves out as by what is there. His refusal to raise his voice and apparent reduction of all emotions to a sad sweetness ultimately cannot conceal his passion. His reflectiveness and absolutely incomparable breathing can easily distract us from the ferocity of his swing and the harsher aspects of some of the conclusions he reaches. The constant rhythmic and harmonic shifts are delivered in what seems to be a steady, incredibly intimate series of asides.

"You don't have to be Brazilian to succumb to his relentless manipulation of associations. A great artist can seduce you with someone else's memories."

(Liner notes by Arto Lindsay--not included in the CD I own, but were in the cassette I bought of this great album several years ago.)

One of the finest records ever made...

eddie hurt (ddduncan), Friday, 21 May 2004 20:40 (fifteen years ago) link

great record.
I love the subtle "production flourishes", courtesy of Walter/Wendy Carlos.

Russ, Friday, 21 May 2004 20:56 (fifteen years ago) link

eddie hurt, thanks for posting that.

Salvador Saca (Mr. Xolotl), Saturday, 22 May 2004 01:59 (fifteen years ago) link

five years pass...

I want this, but it's OOS at Dusty Groove, and $35 on Amazon. Any other suggestions where to get it? Also, what's a good collection of his 60s work?

Fastnbulbous, Thursday, 1 October 2009 21:11 (ten years ago) link

The Joao Deception

would read this Robert Ludlum book

the taint of Macca is strong (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 1 October 2009 21:13 (ten years ago) link

From what I can tell, all his early work from 1959-61 is out of print. The Legendary João Gilberto collects his first three albums, but is out of print and costs between $75 and $200 on Amazon.

Fastnbulbous, Thursday, 1 October 2009 21:33 (ten years ago) link


tylerw, Thursday, 1 October 2009 21:35 (ten years ago) link

Has anyone read Ruy Castro's 'Bossa Nova: The Story of the Brazilian Music That Seduced the World'? I concede it doesn't spend much time with technical aspects of João Gilberto's music but it's great to see what was behind it. Not sure by rock 'n roll standards, but this guy was (is) such a weirdo.

Shin Oliva Suzuki, Friday, 2 October 2009 12:24 (ten years ago) link

I'd like to read that book. Wow, a flac blog! Awesome. Don't MP3 bloggers get legally harrassed, even if it's out of print stuff?

Fastnbulbous, Friday, 2 October 2009 12:57 (ten years ago) link

well, this is Brazil. And I'm sure João Gilberto is not interested in what's going on internet. Even if it involves his music.

Shin Oliva Suzuki, Friday, 2 October 2009 13:07 (ten years ago) link

That book is great, especially all the stuff about João.

Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Hamletmachine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 2 October 2009 13:08 (ten years ago) link

Yeah, I second, third, whatever Bossa Nova, too.

DLee, Friday, 2 October 2009 13:22 (ten years ago) link

i love this album so much

it is CRIMINAL how much of his stuff is OOP

gore vitalic (s1ocki), Friday, 2 October 2009 13:51 (ten years ago) link

'Eu Quero um Samba' is at least #4 in my 'songs for sunny days top 10'

Shin Oliva Suzuki, Friday, 2 October 2009 13:55 (ten years ago) link

thanks for the book recommend. always looking for good books on brazilian music.

gore vitalic (s1ocki), Friday, 2 October 2009 13:57 (ten years ago) link

Too bad there's no English language edition of 'O Mistério do Samba'. It's like social history of samba early years, about how it was despised by the upper classes and later adopted as Brazilian sound identity

Shin Oliva Suzuki, Friday, 2 October 2009 14:11 (ten years ago) link

it's a lovely record.

carne asada, Friday, 2 October 2009 18:29 (ten years ago) link

yeah, this is one of the great albums ever.

amateurist, Friday, 2 October 2009 21:31 (ten years ago) link

eight years pass...

YSI anybody? i lost my copy some time ago

(•̪●) (carne asada), Thursday, 1 March 2018 21:53 (one year ago) link

one month passes...


(•̪●) (carne asada), Wednesday, 25 April 2018 19:52 (one year ago) link

got u fam

J. Sam, Thursday, 26 April 2018 06:04 (one year ago) link

nice! thank you

(•̪●) (carne asada), Monday, 30 April 2018 14:51 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

There doesn't appear to be a proper João Gilberto thread so this will have to do.

RIP. He was 88.

pomenitul, Saturday, 6 July 2019 20:33 (four months ago) link

Dusty Groove’s description of the thread subject called it a “god album” which has always stuck with me

rob, Saturday, 6 July 2019 21:45 (four months ago) link

RIP! a total giant.

tylerw, Saturday, 6 July 2019 21:54 (four months ago) link

When he started refusing to work at clubs where he felt the customers talked too much, he entered a period of poverty, growing his hair long and wearing wrinkled clothes. Then a friend, the singer Luís Telles, brought him to the coast town of Porto Alegre and put him up at a respectable hotel; performing at a local nightclub, Mr. Gilberto gained a following....After about seven months Mr. Gilberto moved to Diamantina, a city in the mountainous state of Minas Gerais, where his older sister Dadainha lived. This was where he found his sweet spot of artistic isolation, cloistering himself in his sister’s house — specifically, in her bathroom.

It was there, Mr. Castro wrote, that Mr. Gilberto’s sound took shape. The acoustics were reverberant enough for him to practice a whispery, nasal style of singing, audible over the guitar. As much as he liked self-assured performers, his own sound seemed to shrink from the light; it was an inversion of the popular bolero-like style that had dominated Brazilian popular music since the 1930s.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 15:48 (four months ago) link

had no idea his s/t album from 1973 - which I've had and loved for ages - was, for some reason, produced by Wendy Carlos

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 15:51 (four months ago) link

but yeah, he was godlike. up there with Louie Armstrong, James Brown, Chuck Berry, Tony Iommi etc in terms of "single-handedly creates genre" type figures

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 15:52 (four months ago) link

Worthy long read:

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 11 July 2019 16:05 (four months ago) link

He used his new vocal and rhythm techniques to compose “Bim-Bom,” and so it is considered by some to be the first bossa nova song.

Interesting. Later it says that it was released as a single with “Chega de Saudade,” which is considered the first Bossa Nova record, so I guess that works.

Vini C. Riley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 11 July 2019 16:38 (four months ago) link

Nice piece. And I also had no idea Wendy Carlos produced the s/t (my CD only has songwriter credits), that is kind of amazing! Has anyone written about that?

rob, Thursday, 11 July 2019 16:39 (four months ago) link

Wendy Carlos, in the early aughts, describes her experience as audio engineer on Joao Gilberto’s legendary self-titled 1973 “white album”

— Glenn Kenny (@Glenn__Kenny) July 12, 2019

Ari (whenuweremine), Friday, 12 July 2019 02:20 (four months ago) link

God I love this album. I spent a lot of time working on his thumb against three fingers picking style and it just opens so much rhythmic possibilities. Rip big man.

hollow your fart (m bison), Friday, 12 July 2019 02:33 (four months ago) link

That technique is hard to do well, kudos to you if you can manage it without having grown up in Brazil.

Vini C. Riley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 12 July 2019 03:43 (four months ago) link

i mean i can keep the beat with my thumb/bass string and then do the syncopated part with my three fingers so thats something! he obv had way more range and fluidity with his left hand, plus the effortlessness of his playing (whereas mine is v much effortful rn)

hollow your fart (m bison), Friday, 12 July 2019 03:51 (four months ago) link

had no idea he was using his thumb, that explains a lot!

Οὖτις, Friday, 12 July 2019 15:27 (four months ago) link

You’ve got to be kidding

Vini C. Riley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 12 July 2019 15:30 (four months ago) link

actually not kidding. my big dive into bossa nova and Brazilian music predated youtube and a lot of other materials being widely available, don't think I ever saw footage of him playing back then, and the stuff I read about him didn't go into technique specifics.

Οὖτις, Friday, 12 July 2019 15:34 (four months ago) link

Don’t you play guitar yourself? Aren’t you aware of fingerstyle playing? Think I started a thread about that, maybe you even posted on it.

Vini C. Riley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 12 July 2019 15:45 (four months ago) link

yes and yes but I've never tried it myself, was aware of other musicians doing it but never associated it with bossa nova

Οὖτις, Friday, 12 July 2019 15:47 (four months ago) link

honestly I don't think my hands are big enough to manage it

Οὖτις, Friday, 12 July 2019 15:47 (four months ago) link

Wait what? You understand we're talking about his right hand technique, right? I.e. that he played fingerstyle, i.e. not with a pick? You didn't know he was doing that?

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 12 July 2019 16:15 (four months ago) link

Psst, Shakey, over here

Vini C. Riley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 12 July 2019 16:21 (four months ago) link

Perhaps this will refresh your memory:

Vini C. Riley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 12 July 2019 16:25 (four months ago) link

Lol i thought we were talking about his LEFT handctechnique

Οὖτις, Friday, 12 July 2019 16:27 (four months ago) link

Sorry i am dum and scanning this thread too quickly

Οὖτις, Friday, 12 July 2019 16:28 (four months ago) link

You thought it was some Robert Johnson stuff? D’oh!

Vini C. Riley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 12 July 2019 16:29 (four months ago) link

Haha yes

Οὖτις, Friday, 12 July 2019 16:33 (four months ago) link

something i haven't seen mentioned anywhere is gilberto's mentorship of the rock band novos baianos, and the resulting LP "acabou chorare" (the title of which is probably a deliberate evocation of "chega de saudade"). his influence on their sound is pretty remarkable, and it's also just kind of a hilarious scenario:

Their new home had become something of a hippie commune, perenially surrounded by a cloud of smoke, friends and musicians would come and go throughout the day. It was no surprise then that when a smart bespectacled man knocked on their door they thought the worst – the police were after them. Upon discovering that the man was in fact Joao Gilberto, one of Brazil’s biggest stars and the progenitor of bossa nova, the worry then turned to joy. It was midnight when he arrived. He wouldn’t leave ’til eight in the morning. They played guitar through the night, and then the next night, he returned.


budo jeru, Saturday, 13 July 2019 19:14 (four months ago) link

! Thats crazy, i had no idea

Οὖτις, Sunday, 14 July 2019 00:14 (four months ago) link

Nor I

Ask Heavy Manners (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 14 July 2019 00:22 (four months ago) link

JG’s input coincided with a Novos Baianos getting a LOT better IMO. Their previous records had been fine but “Acabou Chorare” is world class.

Tim, Sunday, 14 July 2019 09:08 (four months ago) link

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