Supporting the Jazz Genre and The 4 Land's Region of Central Europe

 
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The Bossa Nova Story
- Overview

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Overview
Where It All Began
LP's Change The Landscape
Vocal Groups and João Gilberto
Life At The Copacabana
Next *  The Bossa Nova Cast Assembles

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The Bossa Nova Story
- Part 04 - Life At The Copacabana
One person who knew the Copacabana area of the Zona Sol between 1948 and 1964 was writer and musician Antônio Maria who wrote columns for three local papers in Rio de Janeiro at the time.
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His depiction of the area was somewhat contraversial as he spent most of his time frequenting nightclubs and actually died of a heart attack at the age of 43 outside a restaurant there.

His presence on the radio and in newspaper columns made him very intimidating and he could create or destroy a reputation in a heartbeat.

His influence in the early 1950's in Rio was so intense that his comment about Jonas Silva's contribution with Os Garotos Da Lua signalled the time for change within the band and subsequently heralded the arrival of João Gilberto, so powerful was his opinion.

In the mid 1950's a young pianist broke onto the nightclub scene in the Copacabana, his name was Antonio Carlos Jobim (but he was known as Tom), and his fear of not being able to pay the rent strove him perpetually to working, but always nocturnally when others were enjoying the sunny beaches by day.

(It was one of those mornings after a gig in Ipanema that Tom Jobim saw the real Girl From Ipanema, namely Helo Pinheiro, a 17 year old permanent fixture around the Ipanema Beach.)

However Tom Jobim and his great childhood friend Newton Mendonça, who had lived an almost parallel life to Tom growing up, both ignored academic careers to study music and both became evening pianists in the bars and restaurants around Ipanema. Both were in awe at the time of the aforemention Johnny Alf and went to see him as often as they could for inspiration and technique.

Johnny Alf was offered more money in 1955 to go to São Paulo which left Tom, Nelson and other aspiring musicians in Rio without a mentor and they had to create their own musical revolution.

Tom Jobim turned his attention to composing as well, indeed it was a close friend called Billy Blanco who had inspiration on a bus ride through the morning sun with a view of the surf, sea and mountains who called Tom from a bar in the Zona Sol one morning and paraphrased some lyrics to him which were the basis of the future release 'Sinfonia Do Rio De Janeiro'.

However good as the song was it was too long and the thousand copies that the record label Continental produced failed to have an impact of much note.

The composing accolades of Tom Jobim and lyrics of Billy Blanco took a step upwards when their record label Continental asked them to compose a song for long time singing rivals Dick Farney and Lúcio Alves and the song 'Teresa Da Praia' was released. Both sang the song to compliment each other rather than to compete which was its recipe for success.

A few years later when Bossa Nova became popular these two singers had already reached their pinnacles with this song and the new musical order which had been inspired by them moved onwards without them.

Next Time in Part 05
- The Bossa Nova Cast Assembles

Further In Depth Reading about Bossa Nova
If we have awoken your interest with The Bossa Nova Story we recommend the excellent book
Bossa Nova by Ruy Castro ( Acappella - 2003)

Wes George (former Sony Jazz webmaster)
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