You will never be cooler than bossa nova. I will never be cooler than bossa nova. That’s because bossa nova was invented to be cool, it was born out of a pure, unadulterated desire to be the coolest of cool.
Sure, it’s not the only genre of music that’s cool, I’ll give you that. I mean, jazz is definitely cool, and you only need to look into the eyes of one Miles Davis to see that. Blues is undoubtedly cool too. You precious kids wouldn’t have your One Direction and your Taylor Swift if it wasn’t for the blues, and being the beginning of something, of anything? That’s the ultimate cool, even if it leads to either of those musical abominations.
But jazz wasn’t invented to be cool. Jazz was invented to be different, to break the mold. It only became cool after the fact, after it got popular and dangerous, and people sat down and started really studying the stuff. The blues definitely weren’t made to be cool, either. The blues were made by a guy with a rusty, worn-out steel guitar and all the troubles in the world, and there wasn’t anything cool about starving to death and losing your woman back then.
Bossa nova, on the other hand. Now that is pure cool. Bossa nova was invented in the 60’s, when there was more than enough time to study the classics, the Contranes and the Dizzies. Hell, bossa nova means “new trend” in Portuguese. They knew what they were doing, and they made some damn good music as a result. This week I’m giving you a bite-sized sample of the good stuff. Here’s Celso Fonseca with Meu Samba Torto: