Bossa Nova Essentials

Bossa Nova Essentials

Ocean breezes. Beachside cafes. Polish, style, and sophistication: the sound of bossa nova instantly evokes an easy life, well-lived. But for as gentle as their music sounds, the artists here—including Antônio Carlos Jobim, João Gilberto and his then-wife Astrud, Sergio Mendes—were at one point considered radical, not just in their restrained, jazz-influenced turn away from the boisterous traditions of samba, but in their evocation of Brazil as a modern, outward-facing place at a time when the country was shedding its nationalist identity and embracing the development of a middle class. Bossa nova is the sound of something sleek moving toward the horizon—literally, the new wave. Fun, subdued, but bristling with creative energy, here is the best of Brazil’s quiet revolution.

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