“Astrud Gilberto is no longer just The Girl From Ipanema.” Or so say Jack Maher’s notes on Gilberto’s solo début Lp from the following year. He’s not fooling anybody and goes on to allude to the world-beating hit a further six times. Gilberto is not a technically great vocalist, but producer Creed Taylor has the measure of her abilities and, though surrounded by heavyweights (husband João, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Bud Shank, João Donato, arranger Marty Paich, etc.), provides a pillow-light musical support, some gentle, insistent swing and the wistful melodies (all but two by Jobim) that don’t overwhelm Astrud’s artless, muted trumpet soto voce singing. Her phrasing is far more interesting and lively on the four Portuguese-sung numbers, English exposing a vulnerability verging on tentativeness.
A few years ago, a Gilberto compilation CD on Verve (part of the budget series with the generic ugly tan covers) provided the background to a dinner party I attended in Streatham–I was impressed then how good it was and so snapped up the present pop Bossa album for a pound in Hythe without much ado.