Bossa Nova translated as the "new beat" or "the new style", grew out of Rio De Janeiro in 1958. The instigators were a handful of artists with a desire to break from tradition, developing the samba rhythms with the influence of cool American jazz to find a music with such a warm soul and natural rhythm that no-one can help but tap and sway to its beat. Bossa Nova is palm trees swaying, it is like melting sugar in hot coffee, it is the setting sun and warm sand underfoot. It is the sound and beat of Brazil, it is one of the world's coolest musical styles and it remains to this day one of the world's great musical treasures.
This 1962 date by tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse celebrates a grander and funkier scale of what Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd did earlier in 1962 with the bossa nova. Unlike Getz, Rouse didn't feel he needed to be a purist about it, and welcomed all sorts of Afro-Caribbean variations into his music. His choice of bandmates reflects that: a three-piece percussion section with drummer Willie Bobo, conguero Carlos "Patato" Valdes, and Garvin Masseaux on chekere (a beaded percussion instrument that is played by being shaken). Add to this bassist Larry Gales, and a pair of guitarists, Kenny Burrell, and Chauncey Westbrook, along with Rouse, and it is an unusual and exotic sextet. Burrell and Masseaux were part of Ike Quebec's band on Soul Samba, but the two recordings couldn't be more different.
Perhaps it all goes back to one dark winter’s night of the incipient and hope-filled year of 1400, at the dawn of a century that had just begun. A century which was soon to unravel the marvellous stories and odysseys of a newly rediscovered millennial civilization, an ancient era when philosophers taught wisdom and humanity, when the music of Orpheus could tame even the most savage of beasts. In the midst of so many novelties and marvels, it is no wonder that minstrels aspired to a new, more expressive and richer sound, to create a musica nova, or a new music, that came from a single instrument combining the love song of the old vihuela de arco or bowed fiddle, the rebab or troubadour’s rebec, and the sweet sounds of the Moorish lute, with its potential for beautiful harmonies and joyful rhythms, which gave way to the vihuela de mano in the wake of the successive expulsions of the Jews in 1492 and the Moriscos in 1609.