Paulo Morello & Kim Barth

Bossa Nova Legends

Bossa Nova Legends Johnny Alf and Alaíde Costa

bossa nova legends pianist Johnny Alf and vocalist Alaíde Costa Pianist, singer and songwriter Johnny Alf -"the spiritual father of Bossa Nova" (O Globo) - teams up with his favourit Brazilian singer of all time: vocalist Alaíde Costa.




Alaide CostaAlaíde Costa

The public outside Brazil might not be so familiar with her name, but nonetheless Alaíde Costa (pronounced ala’eedjee) played a crucial part in bossa nova’s coming into being at Copacabana. Originally lending her dark and smooth alto voice to the interpretation of boleros she was soon discovered by João Gilberto himself in 1959, who kindled her interest in the new genre. On September 22nd she rose to stardom during the “Samba Session Festival” (the name “bossa nova” still hadn’t become established yet), where the outstanding musicians of this new wave had gathered around the unifying figure of Ronaldo Bôscoli. Costa scintillated with “Chora Tua Tristeza”, the very same song which has been rerecorded for this CD as a reminiscence of that thrilling days. Highly estimated by critics and connoisseurs Alaíde Costa recorded her legendary LP “Canta Suavemente” in 1960, a rare collector’s item nowadays, and was dropped by her record company little later. Latent racism surely played a role, since as a “mulata”, Costa didn’t fit in the brand philosophy of the bossa, mainly a domain of white musicians. However she managed to get some popularity in São Paulo in the Mid-Sixties where she recorded „Afinal“, a brilliant bossa long player, that still is available to the present day. In the following decades Costa’s career was marked by many ups and downs, but again and again she went to the studio for famous compatriots like samba legend Paulinho Da Viola and bossa poet Vinicius De Moraes. She even teamed up with Milton Nascimento on „Clube Da Esquina“, one of the most important milestone albums of the Música Popular Brasileira.


Johnny AlfJohnny Alf

is said to be one of the most important forerunners of bossa nova in the Fifties. Alfredo José da Silva started his musical career with classical piano studies, but soon developed a strong interest in songs by Gershwin, Sinatra and Nat King Cole. At the age of 23 he began to perform professionally in the night bars at Copacabana under his new name Johnny Alf and made acquaintance with the scene forming around João Gilberto and João Donato. Trained by jazz harmonies he composed „Rapaz De Bem“, one of the first songs ever to hint at the burgeoning of the bossa through its harmonic refinement. Legions of Brazilian musicians have been influenced by his way of playing the piano as well as by his elegant voice. In the Seventies he recorded first-rate LPs, supported y Egberto Gismonti or Gilberto Gil. Up to the present day Johnny Alf continues his career: A few years ago he demonstrated his live qualities with a taping of a club concert named “Eu E A Bossa”. In 1999, at the age of seventy, he was given the Shell award for his crucial part as precursor of the bossa.


The Bossa Nova Legends

Johnny Alf, vocals/piano
Alaíde Costa, vocals
Kim Barth, saxes/flutes
Paulo Morello, guitar
Joao Carlos Coutinho, piano
Lucio Nascimento, bass
Adriano de Oliveira, drums