Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Song of the Day - June 10, 2009

It's hard to do a Summer Song of the Day when it is such a gray day in my neck of the woods, which I refer to as Half-a-lax. But I made certain promises that I aim to keep. Today's selection is The Girl From Ipanema, as performed by Stan Getz, Joao Gilberto and Astrud Gilberto.

The version cut for Verve is probably the best known or most iconic. The version I present here appears to be from some kind of ski party film. Which doesn't help me make my case, but it does seem fitting given the less than summery weather I'm experiencing today. I know, it's not really summer yet, but we only get 3.5 seasons here, and most of that is winter. As a result, I pretty much consider it summer the moment that Victoria Day/Memorial Day rolls around.

I will say that this is probably the first Getz LP I ever owned, and until a few weeks ago, I owned it on CD. But a visit to a record shop in Maine turned up a mint original for three bucks and fiddy. And when I lovingly placed it on the turntable and inserted the needle in the groove with the precision of a vinyl junkie, the room was immediately transported to a more tropical clime and I had a drink with a parasol in my hand. Remarkable.

Apparently, the decision to add Astrud to the song happened on the fly in the studio when the track was cut. And though Getz gets top billing, he doesn't come in with his honeyed, breathy horn until about halfway in.

Since it was cut, the song has become a standard, and an occasional pop culture punchline. For example, it appears in a muzak form in The Blues Brothers. The girl who inspired the song, Heloisa Eneida Menezes Paes Pinto, even appeared on an episode of The Amazing Race when teams went to Brazil. Though recorded many times, I can't think of any as unique as the version by former McKenzie brother Rick Moranis - Enjoy!

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