** the joão gilberto connection **

mixed gems

joão gilberto

história de uma gata

mulheres de chico

summer samba

hippy hoppy electronicky drum'n'bassamba

canção do mar

baden powell

caetano veloso & gilberto gil

chico buarque

girl from ipanema


that feminine tuch

tom zê


jorge ben

fernanda porto

** the joão gilberto connection **

"samba da minha terra"

one of joão's earliest tv appearances (brazil?)


at the village vanguard, nyc

** 1980 brazilian tv special ** 1980 brazilian tv special **

joão left brazil in the early 60s & moved to the us & then mexico. he moved back to brazil full-time in 1980, and this tv special must be his first after returning

"o pato"


"acquarela do brasil"




....or here with brazilian lyrics if you want to do a karaoke

 (and here's a gilberto gil version with stevie wonder)

"chega de saudade" joão & gilberto & his 14 year-old daughter bebel

....or here with brazilian lyrics if you want to do a karaoke

"diga" bebel gilberto (a little older & wearing a different ring) & her pensioner dad joão 1994


joão gilberto on CQC 18 aug 2008

CQC (in brazil "Custe o Que Custar", whatever the cost, at whatever cost, in spain "Caiga Quien Caiga") was a tv program i watched in spain in the '90s, franchised from argentina. i was gonna try & describe it but wikipedia saved me the trouble:

CQC is a weekly news roundup that takes a humorous and ironic approach to reporting current affairs, show business and sports. CQC's reporters are known for asking politically incorrect questions to celebrities, which in some cases leads to visible discomfort in the interviewees. One of the trademarks of the show is the heavy editing of the interviews to add cartoons and sound effects with the goal of highlighting (by ridicule) the interviewee's reactions. Reporters sometimes give controversial gifts to celebrities. Hosts and reporters all dress in black suits and wear black glasses, inspired by the characters in Quentin Tarantino’s movie Reservoir Dogs. The name of the show in Spanish is a commonly used phrase meaning "whatever it takes" (literally: "whoever might fall"), as a reference to the unorthodox interviewing methodology.

ok? this is the brazilian version.  here they are trying to get an interview with the man himself. asking him the ingredients for a "batida perfeita": does the reporter mean "perfect beat" (from an album title by marcelo d2) or "perfect smoothie"? is is caipirinha, limão, açúcar... (cairprinha, lime, sugar...). anyway, joão is flummoxed

** joão gilberto booed & heckled ** should i stay or should i go now **

"eu vim da bahia"

broadcast in '94, recorded in salvador, bahia. the gilberto gil lyric goes "i came here from bahia and one day i'll go back" someone heckles him as he's talking about the trip he's had & how tired he is and he threatens to leave ("vou embora"), but stays and plays. joão was from the state of bahía, as was the song's writer, gilberto gil


"é vaia?.. é aplauso?" are those cheers or boos?

this time he takes his threat one step further

one of the english comments to this clip gives some background info

"29 Sept. 1999: opening gala of the luxurious new 'Credicard Hall' in São Paulo, by invitation only. The acoustics were not up to standard, so João complained about the echo onstage, and some of the 4,500 VIPs in the audience (who had been eating and drinking on the house excessively) booed him. He booed them back. He also said to them: "Vaia de Bêbado Nâo Vale" (a drunk's boo doesn't count)! Singer Tom Zé was in the audience, and he used this as a title and subject for a new song/single!"

and here is a comedy show piss-take of the last incident and joão's reputation in general for storming off

a brahma beer advert

as for the second clip, where joão walked off the stage, i agree with other people among the comments. it can't have been in 1999, it must have been earlier.

anyway, 196 people have left comments, nearly all of them brazilian apart from the odd english speaker asking what the hell was being said, both by joão and the compere who comes on after him (there are english translations of what he said amongst the comments, if you want to look for them). and they are very polarised, split basically into 2 camps.

summing up camp 1:

joão was a no-good has-been, his bossa nova was rubbish, not relevant & a relic, he's right to get booed because when brazil was going through its worse dictatorships in the sixties & seventies he had scarpered to the us & mexico and never spoke out about the military regimes, whereas other artists like gilberto gil & caetano veloso had taken a stance against censorship and had been exiled.

summing up camp 2:

joão was a genius and gets more recognition abroad than in his own country, brazil is a country of ignorant neanderthals who don't deserve somebody of his stature, as an artist he's right to be a perfectionist and refuse to play if the venue's acoustics are wrong.

joão moved back to brazil in 1980, and the live concert clips above must be from his first return gig. is that why bebel sings so nervously? in his 1997 book Tropicália - a Historia de Uma Revolucao, carlos calado writes about a tv special in august 1971. joão by then was massive in the us & worldwide, but hadn't been back to brazil for years. he was lured back with the offer of a tv special, to be recorded in são paolo. he phoned caetano veloso, still in exile in london, and told him to get the next plane back to brazil, cos they were gonna do a show together. caetano couldn't believe him, saying don't you know i'm in exile and i can't go back. calado reconstructingly "quotes" joão telling caetano:

"Caetas, ouça bem o que eu estou lhe dizendo. É Deus que está mandando eu lhe chamar. Você vai tomar um avião, vai chegar aqui e só vai encontrar sorrisos. Nem na Alfândega vão lhe parar. Ninguém vai lhe dizer nada! Todos vão sorrir pra você! Os brazileiros te amam, Caetas!""

(Listen to me. God has told me to ring you and tell you to get on a plane and come back here. everyone's gonna be smiling. You'll walk straight through Customs, the guards won't say a word to you but they'll be smiling at you. Brazilians love you - my translation)

and that is what happened. joão had so much clout, and the authorities were so desperate to have him back in brazil & placate him, even if it was just for a single tv show, that they had agreed to his demands about letting caetano back in the country, otherwise he wouldn't perfom. in the 2 weeks caetano spent there before flying back to london, he wasn't bothered once by the police or the military.

calado also mentions the tapes of the recording (teipes in the original portuguese): 6 hours were recorded, 2 & a half hours were broadcast (minus the commercial breaks, including "sensacional quinzena de tapetes da Eletroradiobrás", a massive carpet sale at Eletroradiobrás),  the teipes were wiped and no footage has survived. i've certainly found nothing yet on youtube! not even the Eletroradiobrás advert. but here's a photo from the book, of joão gilberto caetano & gal costa on the set

i did find somebody selling a 1960s Eletroradiobrás flâmula or pennant on a braziian auction site

"história de uma gata" (a lady cat's tale) by chico buarque

a strange choice, i knew nothing about this song until i stated YouTubing, & i think the various clips available make for interesting viewing

first, here's a version from a brazilian kids programme, with bebel gilberto's mum miúcha.

bebel is in the red tshirt with her face painted

her uncle chico buarque (miúcha's brother), is behind them , and his daughter sílvia (who later became actress) is the less enthusiatic girl in the blue dress

...and a version by vanessa da mata

...and another by maría victória (with hiccups)

rio is famous for carnaval, and its blocos, or carnaval groups, who rehearse all year round. this bloco is  called "mulheres de chico", or "chico's women".  brazil is a strongly religious country; full of women who love chico buarque & who think he's god, which is useless to argue with. i don't know what the entry requirements are for brazilian women to join "chico's women", but i fear that sadly there will never be a carnaval bloco called "mulheres de denis"

here in december 2007 performing the same song

  and here in 2009

more of "mulheres de chico"

** mulheres de chico (chico's women) ** mulheres de chico (chico's women **

rubbish quality recordings, but... here they are again, in their natural habitat

    and here      and here  

women from all over brazil have left messages on their blog, saying things like "i've bought my own instrument and have started practising, how can i join your bloco? they only perform chico buarque songs. to find out more about them, this photo will take you to their website


** samba de verão "summer samba" (so nice) **

compare these 3 versions of another song, by marcos valle , known in english as "summer samba (so nice)"

astrud gilberto on italian tv 1967, singing an italian version "dammi un'idea"


(her & joão had by now split up)


....& bebel gilberto 23 years later. 


(bebel's mum was miúcha -chico buarque's sister- not astrud, who was her dad's ex

..and the original with its composer marcos valle (music, his brother wrote the lyrics) on the andy williams show


"girl from ipanema"/"garota de ipanema"  (lyrics vinícius de morães, music tom jobim) 

love it or loathe it, this song is arguably one of the most famous ever. the famous version features joão gilberto on guitar & portuguese vocals , english vocals by astrud gilberto & stan getz on sax. (astrud & stan had an affair & she & joão split up, which may explain why i can't find a clip of joão & astrud performing the song together, and why he doesn't feature anywhere on astrud's website. however, it was fun to see how many versions have been posted on YouTube. which of these is the best?

astrud gilberto (from the 1964 film "get yourself a college girl", with stan getz "playing" behind her)


tom jobim & andy williams 1965


"quiet nights"/"change partners"/"i concentrate on you"/"girl from ipanema" tom jobim & frank sinatra 1967


astrud gilberto & the jobim orchestra (germany 1991)

joão gilberto & tom jobim reunited on brazilian tv, early 90s


fret killer


jim greeninger (he made the guitar himself!!!!!!!!!!!!!)


quite scary & spooky, like a dark tim burton sinister twisting of a kid's fairy tale

joão gilberto

the song's first us tv airing 1963

an audio recording of the song's first public performance at the bon gourmet club, 2 august '62, with intros by joão, tom & vinícius. here's a transcript of the intros, then my translation

joão: tom, e se você fizesse agora uma canção, que possa nos dizer, contar o que é o amor?

tom: olha joãozinho, eu não saberia sem vinicius pra fazer a poesia.

vinicius: para essa canção se a realizar, quem dera o joão para cantar.

joão: ah, mas quem sou eu, eu sou mais vocês, melhor se nós cantassesmos os três

(joão "tom, could you write a song now about what love is?"

tom "look, joão mate, not without vinicius to write the lyrics"

vinicius "well i couldn't sing it, it'd have to be joão"

joão "not on my own, only if we sing it together")

and finally, an interview with helô pinheiro, the original girl from ipanema


i actually met helô when i went to rio in 2003. met? she served me in her boutique in ipanema & complimented me on my portuguese. what a shameless flirt! her, not me! here's a screenplay for a short i wrote, based on incidents then, called garota from ipanema

"canção do mar" from an italian film "copacabana palace" ('62)

this clip is a curio that i've included mainly for one of the comments posted by a brazilian who saw the clip

3 guitarists on the beach, luiz bonfa, joão gilberto & tom jobim

never mind the guitarists, who are the girls, i hear you ask? mylene demongeot, gloria paul & sylva koscina 

here's the comment posted by sephoramaria: (LINDISSIMO! E AS MULHERES LINDISSIMAS! SABE O ELAS COMIAM NAQUELA EPOCA? NOS ANOS 50, 60? ARROZ, FEIJAO, BIFE E SALADA! NAO PRECISAVAM LIPO, PILATES, DIETA, CAMINHADAS LONGAS, NADA DESTAS BESTEIRAS! ARROZ COM FEIJAO BIFE E SALADA! A MELHOR VITAMINA PARA UM CORPO SADIO! Sei que nao tem nada a ver com a beleza da musica, deste video lindo, mas... olhem as mulheres lindissimas e com o corpo lindo! Pq nao fazem mais mulheres normais hoje em dia?)

here's my translation: look at those women's bodies! you wouldn't believe women back in the 50s & 60s lived on meat & two veg. nowadays they need liposuction, pilates, diets & exercise. forget all that crap! let's bring back meat & 2 veg!

(the funny thing is that the girls weren't even brazilian, but french, english & yugoslav/italian)


bebel gilberto  bbc later 2000


comparisons can be horrible, but this one isn't, different versions of "samba e amor"

janine santos & pedro lima

fernanda abreu

bebel gilberto "momento", including footage of an interview with her dad joão gilberto & her mum miúcha

** recommendations ** recommendations ** recommendations **

** words to songs ** words to songs ** words to songs **

or or

Copyright © 2005/6/7/8/9 by Denis Murphy. All rights reserved. Revised: 04 Oct 2012 04:14 .