“Look to the Rainbow” is the third solo album released by bossa nova superstar Astrud Gilberto.  Much like her previous two releases, ”The Astrud Gilberto Album” and “The Shadow of your Smile”, Gilberto strikes a chord with her listeners due to her distinct voice.

Look to the rAINbow (1965) - Astrud Gilberto

Look to the Rainbow

Her reputation as the “yearning voice of innocence” is showcased on this album but what is also displayed is her deceptively dark and intimate delivery. This dichotomy is something that Astrud Gilberto truly owns like no other. One will find themselves feeling cheerful with her go-lucky sound before finding themselves in  a slight mode of repression on her darker songs.

Though Astrud Gilberto is the star, Gil Evans also shines in the background. The famed jazz and bossa nova musician, once again manages to put together an intricate and masterful arrangement that never seems out of place as the backdrop to Astrud’s sometimes youthful vibrancy. It’s his ability to bring out the best from his varied clientele that has made him the respected figure he is and he shows listeners once again, just how talented he is.

The album starts with her re-indention of the popular song “berimbau”  which is a bright introduction to her album and gives a taste of what is to come. I’ve heard several versions of this song but this is still my personal favorite. Gil Evans has a major role to play in that, as his arrangement is the freshest I’ve heard on this song. It is lively but manages to remain sophisticated. The same can be said about Astrud, who appears to be decidedly restrained, with good effect.

The song fades out and leads to the standard “Once Upon a summer time”  which displays the other more subdued side of her. Though not technically brilliant, she does well to put a very unique spin on a song that too has been done several times over. The title track is a treasure that is sentimental and catchy in a way that will manage to captivate children and adults alike.

The rest of the album follows in similar fashion with a constant but seamless shift between youthful innocence and dim seduction.  What Astrud may not have in terms of technical ability is compensated well with a dynamism, presence and a distinct voice that makes her unmistakably  “Astrud” and she never tries to be anything or anyone else on this record.  A lovely album indeed.

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Released :1965

Genre: Bossa Nova, Brazilian Jazz

Length: 31:49

1. Berimbau

2. Once Upon A Summertime

3. A Felicidade

4. I Will Wait For You

5. Frevo

6. Maria Quiet

7. Look To The Rainbow

8. Bim Bom

9. Lugar Bonita (Pretty Place)

10. El Preciso Aprender A Ser So (Learn To Live Alone)

11. She’s A Carioca

12. A Certain Smile

13. A Certain Sadness

14. Nega Do Cabelo Duro

15. Summer Samba (So Nice)

16. Voce Ja Foi Bahia

17. Portuguese Washerwoman