Cover image for Bossa nova : the story of the Brazilian music that seduced the world
Bossa nova : the story of the Brazilian music that seduced the world
Castro, Ruy, 1948-
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Chega de saudade. English
First English-language edition.
Publication Information:
Chicago : A Cappella, [2000]

Physical Description:
xxii, 372 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML3487.B7 C39 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The definitive history of bossa nova music--which has produced such enduring hits as "The Girl from Ipanema," "The Waters of March," and "Desafinado"--this book chronicles the culture of Rio during its heyday. Based on extensive interviews with Antonio Carlos Jobim, João Gilberto, and all the major musicians and their friends, this retrospective is full of passion and betrayal, love and hate, comedy and tragedy.

Author Notes

Ruy Castro grew up to the sound of bossa nova in Rio. He has been a staff writer, reporter, and editor for over half a dozen major Brazilian magazines and newspapers, and is the author of a number of books

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

For North American audiences, bossa nova was "a brief Brazilian seduction" before the British invasion of the 1960s, when it fell from the world stage into the background, where it continues to appeal. But in Brazil, bossa nova meant an innovative new soundÄa "serenely syncretic" take on sambaÄto accompany the country's other modernizations. A bestseller in Brazil, Castro's book might lack some context for readers here. But it is an energetic journalistic history with a lively cast of characters, set mostly in the beachside neighborhoods and nightclubs of Rio de Janeiro. Castro outlines the careers of, among others, pioneers Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao Gilberto. Gilberto has always cut a curious figure: a poetic, idiosyncratic, charming young man, he became in later years a productive, exacting recluse. Enumerating poets, diplomats and critics who wrote music or lyrics, the narrative depicts a music-loving societyÄthe wide-reaching R dio Nacional was likely "the largest rhythmical democracy in the world"Äthat incubated bossa nova throughout its inceptionÄin the music of Frank Sinatra and Stan KentonÄand evolution during the composition of Black Orpheus. Bossa nova was finally released, full-fledged, in the instant classic "Chega de saudade" (the Brazilian title of the book, which translates as "no more blues"), and made its notable U.S. debut at Carnegie Hall in 1962. Having interviewed everyone available, Castro has at his fingertips elemental details, like the moment Billy Blanco conjured up a musical phrase on a bus, then ran into a bar and, over the din, shouted his creation to his collaborator Jobim, marking the birth of the song "Sinfonia do Rio de Janeiro." Photos. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

A translation of a 1990 Brazilian best seller, this history of what happened when "street samba" moved indoors and became an international form of pop/jazz is filled with material from interviews with performers and people close to them, but it does not include one piece of documentary evidence to support its claims to authenticity. This is truly a fan's book: chatty, enthusiastic, opinionated, and list-prone. Big names (e.g., Joo Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim) appear from the beginning, but artists known mainly in Brazil enter in historical order. Throughout, Brazilian journalist Castro makes clear the importance of bossa nova to Brazilian musical life and pride. The select discography gives online addresses for augmentation. Recommended mainly for active public library collections on world music.DBonnie Jo Dopp, Univ. of Maryland Libs., College Park (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introduction and Acknowledgementsp. viii
Forewordp. x
Prologue: Juazeiro, 1948p. xv
Part I The Great Dreamp. 1
1. The Sounds That Came out of the Basementp. 3
2. Hot Times at the Lojas Murrayp. 15
3. Battle of the Vocal Ensemblesp. 31
4. The Mountains, the Sun, and the Seap. 51
5. Torchy Copacabanap. 65
6. The Gangp. 83
7. In Search of the Lost Selfp. 95
8. The Arrival of the Beatp. 107
9. One Minute and Fifty-Nine Seconds That Changed Everythingp. 125
10. "Desafinado" (Off-Key)p. 145
Part II The Long Holidayp. 159
11. Bossa Nova Goes to Schoolp. 161
12. Colorful Harmoniesp. 175
13. Love, a Smile, and a Flowerp. 193
14. It's Salt, It's Sun, It's Southp. 207
15. Bossa Nova for Salep. 213
16. "Garota de Ipanema" (The Girl from Ipanema)p. 229
17. A Bite of the Applep. 243
18. The Armed Flowerp. 259
19. Shuttle Servicep. 275
20. The Diasporap. 297
21. The World as an Exitp. 317
Epilogue: What Happened to Themp. 333
A Select Bossa Nova Discographyp. 337
Glossaryp. 347
Indexp. 350