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Bossa Nova

  • Date Submitted: 10/11/2013 07:19 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 30 
  • Words: 434
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The bossa nova musical style evolved from samba but is more complex harmonically and less percussive. As opposed to Samba's origins in the favelas, bossa nova emerged primarily from the upscale beachside neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro. Certain similar elements were already evident, even influences from Western classical music like Gershwin's Cuban Overture with its characteristic 'Latin' clave rhythm. The influence on bossa nova of jazz styles such as cool jazz is often debated by historians and fans, but a similar "cool sensibility" is apparent.
The development of bossa nova is largely credited to artists working in the 1950s including Johnny Alf, Antonio Carlos Jobim and João Gilberto. One of the first bossa nova songs was "Bim-Bom" by Gilberto. Other songs that popularized the style included Dorival Caymmi's "Saudade da Bahia" and Elizete Cardoso's recording of "Chega de Saudade" on the Canção do Amor Demais LP, composed by Vinícius de Moraes (lyrics) and Antonio Carlos Jobim (music). The song was released soon after by Gilberto.
An early influence on bossa nova was the song "Dans mon île" by French singer Henri Salvador, featured in the 1957 Italian movie Europa di notte by Alessandro Blasetti; the song was distributed in Brazil and covered later by Brazilian artists Eumir Deodato (Los Danseros en Bolero - 1964) and Caetano Veloso (Outras Palavras - 1981). (In 2005, Henri Salvador was awarded the Brazilian Order of Cultural Merit for his influence on Brazilian culture. He received this honor from then singer and Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil in the presence of President Lula.
The initial releases by Gilberto and the internationally popular 1959 film Orfeu Negro ("Black Orpheus", with score by Luiz Bonfá) brought significant popularity of this musical style in Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America. It soon spread to North America via visiting American jazz musicians. The resulting recordings by Charlie Byrd and Stan Getz cemented its popularity and led to...

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