At the time of the release of ,”A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness,” Astrud Gilberto was already one of the leading artists in bossa nova, especially for North American audiences. She had already worked with big names such as husband Joao Gilberto, Stan Getz and Antonio Carlos Jobim. This album was unique in that it saw her collaborate with a certain organist. His name was Walter Wanderly.

Already an international success at this point, he performed with his trio which besides him included Claudio Slon on the drums and Jose Marino playing the bass.  Wanderly’s arrangements are all well done on the album and the musicians demonstrate the skill that prompted Tony Benett to coerce producer Creed Taylor to incorporate the trio in this and other projects.

A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness

A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness (1966)

It is mostly a bright affair with a few splashes of melancholy for good measure. In this capacity Astrud Gilberto is more than at home as she relays the first emotion with a youthful exuberance and the latter with a haunting resonance.  “Call Me” is a gem in which Wanderly’s arrangement and playing comes alive. His dynamic performance is met with Astrud’s frilly singing with line such as, ” I’m the one that never hurt you, maybe it’s because I love you.” Innocence personified.  The same commentary could be applied to the final track, “It a lovely day” where a warm arrangement is met by Astrud’s signature voice singing “It’s a lovely day for saying it’s a love day.”

As the title would suggest this album is one that aimed to highlight two definite moods, though one dominates the other. It also managed to highlight two definite talents in Astrud Gilberto and Walter Wanderly, however, in this case with respect to the two main artists it is done in equal measure.


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Recorded: September 1966

Genre:  Bossa nova

Length :29:47

Label :Verve

Producer: Creed Taylor

1. “A Certain Smile”( Sammy Fain, Paul Webster)

2. “A Certain Sadness” (Carlos Eduardo Lyra, John Court)

3. “Nega do Cabelo Duro”(Reubens Soares, David Nasser)

4. “So Nice (Summer Samba)”(Marcos Valle, Paulo Valle, Norman Gimbel)

5. “Você Já Foi à Bahia”(Dorival Caymmi )

6. “Portuguese Washerwoman”(André Popp, Roger Antoine Lucchesi)

7. “Goodbye Sadness (Tristeza)”(Edu Lobo, Niltinho, Norman Gimbel)

8. “Call Me”( Tony Hatch)

9. “Here’s That Rainy Day”(Jimmy Van Heusen, Johnny Burke)

10. “Tu Mi Delirio”(Caesar Portillo de la Luz)

11. “It’s a Lovely Day Today”(Irving Berlin)