Astrud Gilberto
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Astrud Gilberto: The Bossa Nova Queen

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I know it’s 2015 but I still can’t help it.

Whenever I think of Bossa Nova music, I still find myself associating it with Astrud Gilberto. My apologies to other Bossa Nova singers out there past and present but to me (and I believe to countless others), no one can still sound so calm, so relax and so at home with a Bossa Nova tune than the one and only Astrud Gilberto.

Astrud’s landmark single The Girl from Ipanema sold over a million copies in 1964. That’s about 8 years before I was born but hey, music can cross over time, over generations. I even have this theory that many a music lover through the years must have begun embracing the coolness of Bossa Nova music, thanks to Astrud herself. Some artists have been quite vocal in acknowledging how Astrud’s singing has made an impact on them, on their musical careers. Among them is Polish jazz and pop singer–songwriter Basia who even recorded the song Astrud, her  tribute to this woman born in Brazil, in her hit album Time and Tide back in 1987.

While The Girl from Ipanema is the song that Astrud is most known for, she definitely has other songs which are worth the space in your Bossa Nova playlist. These ones I would particularly recommend for your listening pleasure: It Might As Well Be Spring, Agua de Beber, Beach Samba and of course, One Note Samba. Astrud’s versions of Here’s That Rainy Day, How Insensitive, Fly Me to the Moon and The Shadow of Your Smile are also lovely to listen to but be ready for the tinge of sadness that seems to calmly confront you while you listen to them. Astrud has a way of singing these tunes that relaxes you and yet at the same time brings to your mind some bittersweet memory from the past. Ah, but it seems that we music lovers love a dose of pain and loneliness in our music, don’t we? And so checking out these tunes from Astrud won’t be so bad for your romantic heart at all.  

Now, if you ask me which ones among her albums I would recommend for you to buy, I would say buy all. But well, if you insist you only want one this time then go for The Very Best of Astrud Gilberto released in 2006. After all, you would only want the best of what the Bossa Nova Queen has to offer.