A Question on The Bossa Nova
I got into pulling some of the old files as I’m updating the site and here’s something I wrote a few years ago about the album Sonny Rollins, What’s New?, RCA Victor LPM-2572. If you keep reading there’s a question here for readers that was never answered on the Jazz Collector site, so perhaps, if you know the answer, you can provide it. Anyway:
What’s New was Rollins’s second album after he came back from one of his self-imposed retirements in the late 1950s/early 1960s. This was the retirement during which he gained notoriety for practicing on the Williamsburg Bridge. After this comeback, his tone was a bit harsher than it had been during the ‘50s and his attack was a bit more staccato, but his playing was very inventive and inspired. In particular, he seemed to have a strong rapport with
guitarist Jim Hall. They seem to be in synch on this entire record, especially on the jewel of the session, “If Ever I Would Leave You.” I had always heard that this was the first record in the U.S. to use the term “bossa nova.” It was back released back in 1962 and George Avakian’s liner notes talk about the bossa nova as if it needed explanation to an uninformed audience. Perhaps one of our readers knows whether this album was, indeed, the first to talk about “bossa nova” in its liner notes. In any case, it’s a wonderful LP, highly recommended.