I fell crazy in love with Brazil when I was around 14 (1962). I soon became passionate about everything Brazilian, even obsessed, as teenagers often do. I had part time jobs before and after school and took my own money to buy records. I even paid for a course of Latin-American dance lessons on Saturdays at an expensive dance studio in Collins Street (oh dear!).
I think my first memory is the sounds of a film Black Orpheus. Which I just played and played and played. Luiz Bonfa and Antonio Carlos Jobim … magic. I think I must have re-wired my brain!
As my mother’s ancestors were Portuguese I was also naturally attracted to the language of Brazil and tried to find more records of this new wave sound, this bossa nova, and then the dam burst in the mid-60s. With timely Frank Sinatra patronage, Tom Jobim recordings became available in Australia and, for me, it was bliss. As the 60s unfolded others caught the new wave like Sergio Mendes’ Brazil 66 and my first live concert at 19 was at Festival Hall in Melbourne to see Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.
In the 80s I had the great delight of taking some close friends in New York to see Tom Jobim with his family play live at Carnegie Hall. So supremely cool! The most recent concert was seeing Bebel Gilberto in March last year at the Melbourne Recital Centre.
As all my friends will patiently tell you, I have never lost my love of bossa nova and I still get many hours of euphoria to this very Saturday morning.
For SOT, I have posted Tom Jobim playing his classic Wave at different times and, today, for a special treat I would like to share my 55-year passion for this gentle and sophisticated music with you.
I hope you can take the time to enjoy this happy trip, the story of how Bossa Nova became the sound meme from Brazil that seduced the world …