So Danco Samba: By Stan Getz

As we are in celebratory mood we will return to recommending some music, and just to prove we are not anti-Semitic we are recommending a track by the late Stan Getz. Getz was a master of the tenor saxophone who unfortunately died of cancer when he still had much to offer.

A graduate of the big bands and swing, Getz, despite an awesome technique, was unimpressive as a bebop player in the late 1950’s. In the early 1960’s however, he combined with several Brazilian musicians and composers to record a few albums of Bossa Nova. His musical career was revived and his recordings invaded the charts all around the world. It is the opinion of this website that Getz’s finest music came with this collaboration, although he made many fine recordings up to his painful death.

It is said that he was an unpleasant man but his Brazilian partnership allowed his playing to be full of joy, a love of great melody, and sweeping phrases that only a master can instantly compose. For anyone who is musical, this has stood the test of time. It would be a sign of America being great again if music like this became the normal stuff of its popular culture.

“So Danco Samba”, composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim was recorded in New York in 1964 for an album called Getz/Gilberto. Joao Gilberto played a fine, complex-chorded acoustic guitar accompaniment, Jobim was on piano, Sebastiao Neto was on bass and Milton Banana on drums. Gilberto, whose voice is a male version of his wife’s (Astrid), which is to say small but tuneful, sings the lyric, but it is Getz’s superb playing that makes this recording a masterpiece. Enjoy!

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