IN THE EARLY YEARS AND NOW, a European-released oddity from the late '80s, combines sides Brazilian bossa nova song stylist Astrud Gilberto recorded in 1964 with the Stan Getz Quartet with a number of new recordings done in 1987. Considering the childlike quality of Gilberto's vibrato-free and deliberately slightly off-pitch voice, it's impressive that only subtle cues in the instrumentation and arrangements identify the new recordings.
After nearly a quarter-century, Astrud Gilberto sounds exactly the same-something that can rarely be said about even the greatest jazz singers. The Getz recordings are well-chosen, including Antonio Carlos Jobim's classics "Corvocado (Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars)" and "One Note Samba" and the definitive version of the jazz standard "It Might As Well Be Spring." The new recordings include a beautiful rendition of "Love For Sale" and the enjoyable trifle "Chica Chica Boom Chic."