“Quiet nights of quiet stars, quiet chords from my guitar, floating on the silence that surrounds us…” The English lyrics to this Bossa Nova love song are timeless and transfixing. Now, 58 years after its first recording, comes a musical mashup to redefine one of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s most beautiful melodies.
The ink on the manuscript for ‘Corcovado’ was barely dry when João Gilberto packed it into his guitar case on his way to Rio’s Odeon studios to record his sophomore album in 1960.
A few years later, Gene Lees gave the song a new name: ‘Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars’, to reflect the English lyrics he created for the Jobim love song.
Could the timing of Lees’ translation give us some insight into Astrud Gilberto’s ‘spontaneous’ inclusion on the Getz/Gilberto album? We’ll never know.
‘Quiet Nights’ has kept its diverse appeal: The list of musicians who have recorded the song includes Frank Sinatra, Everything But The Girl, The Supremes, Queen Latifa, Andrea Bocelli, Diana Krall and Art Garfunkel.
But no version carries the title of ‘unique’ better than the musical mashup from the Legacy & Alchemy team.
Their version pairs an in-studio recording of Jackson and Lins with ‘lost’ tracks from a pair of eternal Jazz masters: trumpeter Miles Davis and Antonio Carlos Jobim himself.
Alexandra Jackson shares the moment from our Legacy & Alchemy StoryStream:
“This is one of my favorite stories from Legacy & Alchemy: When Miles Davis’s nephew, Vince Wilburn, who’s a friend of the producers of the project, heard about the concept of the album, he said we could have any of Miles’s recordings.
So, we jumped at Miles’ 1963 Quiet Nights album, and the producers did an arrangement around his horn for our ‘Corcovado’.
Later, Daniel Jobim suggested adding his grandfather, Tom’s, voice to it. And Paulo, Tom’s son, explained that “Bossa Nova comes from Samba – synergized with American jazz.”
Another beautiful part of this story was the fact that Miles had spoken with Ivan Lins and Larry Williams (producer for the project) about doing an album together before Miles unexpectedly passed away.
So, Legacy & Alchemy found a way for Ivan and Miles to finally be on a song together. It’s really very special.”