Fifty years to the day after Charlie Byrd, Stan Getz, et al, recorded their album Jazz Samba, clarinetist Ben Redwine assembled a band to record a tribute to the album which launched Brazil’s bossa nova into the mainstream and into our musical DNA. The resulting album Samba Jazz was recorded in Pierce Hall at the All Souls Unitarian Church in Washington, DC, in the same space as the historic recording.

Bossa Nova emerged from the improbable marriage of two popular musical forms – samba and jazz – and took the world by storm in the early 1960’s, with Charlie Byrd’s album becoming one of the best selling ‘jazz’ instrumental albums of all time, spending months at the top of the Billboard pop chart in the USA and enjoying chart success around the world.

Pierre Sprey, a substantial American historical figure in his own right, and the proprietor of Mapleshade Records, recorded Redwine’s band using his signature recording techniques, true to the recording style from the 1950s. Recording the whole band live with just a single ribbon microphone, he spent at least an hour changing the positions of the musicians in proximity to the single microphone to get just the right “mix” for this recording. One microphone, live ‘takes’, and the finest, purest recording result possible.

Enjoy these classic tunes, performed by Ben Redwine and his band, featuring guitarist David Rosenblatt of Veronneau, and John Previti, long-time bassist with the legendary guitarist Danny Gatton.

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