The back cover of this Capitol LP claims "Here's the album that started it all," and to an extent that is true. A year before Stan Getz first met up with Charlie Byrd to launch bossa nova in the United States, Joao Gilberto (with backing by an orchestra led by Antonio Carlos Jobim) recorded a dozen bossa nova performances, including "One Note Samba," "Meditation," "Corcovado" and even "I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover." But since this record was not heard domestically until after bossa nova caught on, it had less of an impact than one would expect. The emphasis is on Gilberto's voice (and his guitar during the instrumental "Um Abraco No Bonfa") during the very brief renditions, all of which are under two minutes. Since there is less than 21 minutes of music on the LP, the historic set is only recommended when found at a budget price.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow