Purdue Super Jazz Jam says ‘Blame It On The Bossa Nova’
As American as jambalaya until the 1950s , jazz music began to expand its definition when Dizzie Gillespie and Stan Kenton began introducing Afro-Cuban rhythms into their tunes."So you can 'Blame It On The Bossa Nova' for jazz becoming a world music," says Purdue jazz director M.T. "Mo" Trout whose bands will explore both bossa nova and samba tunes at their annual spring Super Jazz Jam on Friday, March 30.
Featuring the Purdue Jazz Band, Lab Band, Concert Jazz Band, Studio Jazz Band and the American Music Repertory Ensemble, the concert is set for 8 p.m. March 30 in Loeb Playhouse of the Purdue Stewart Center. Admission is free.
"Desafinado" and "The Girl from Ipanema," two of the hottest tunes from the 1950 s and 60s bossa nova craze, set the tone for the evening.
"It was in late 1950s and early 1960s that Stan Getz spent time in Brazil with Antonio Carlos Jobim and was just fascinated with his music. Early bossa nova was primarily just guitar and voice, a combination of indigenous music with folk songs. But the Brazilians were very interested in jazz harmonies and chords from North America," Trout says.
Getz and Jobim's recording of "The Girl From Ipanema" sailed past four Beatles tunes in 1964 to end up in the No. 5 position on the Billboard charts, won a Grammy for best record of the year and fanned the flames of the bossa nova craze.
"Bossas are softer, slower and sexier if you will," says Trout. Sambas, the national music of Brazil, "are similar to bossas but faster and more energetic."
Even in Brazil, the exact origin of the term "bossa nova" remains uncertain. What is certain is that the term "bossa" was used to refer to any new "trend" or "fashionable wave" within the artistic beach-culture of late 1950s Rio de Janeiro. Eventually it was used to refer to a new music style, a fusion of samba and jazz.
"Blame It On The Bossa Nova" is "going to be a fun concert but we're going to push some boundaries here and there," says Trout.
Among the bossa tunes concert-goers will hear are Jobim's "Chega de Saudade" ("No More Blues") and "Desafinado," both of which were in the first wave of bossa tunes coming in from South American. There's also "Gentle Rain" and "Black Orpheus" from Luiz Bonfa. Known to movie fans as "Day in the Life of a Fool," "Black Orpheus" has been rewritten for big band "so it has an overlay of bossa with a samba underneath it," Trout says.
A Michel Legrand tune, "Watch What Happens" will be performed in a samba arrangement "so you can imagine it taking place in Brazil," Trout says. "Petaluma Lu" by Bill Holman is a contemporary version of the samba, but still has many traditional carnival samba elements in it. "It Had Better Be Tonight," by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini, will be presented in a samba arrangement recorded by Michael Buble.
The Purdue Jazz Band's set will stick with the theme of the evening but will also offer solo spotlights to individual musicians who won "Outstanding Soloist" citations at the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival held in Chicago in February.
"Blame It On The Bossa Nova" is sponsored by Purdue Bands & Orchestras. For more information on free concerts at Purdue visit www.purdue.edu/bands The jazz bands' final concert of the years will be "Jazz on the Hill" at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 29, at Purdue's Slayter Center.