“On Alaíde Costa’s second LP, the singer loaned her suave voice to the masters of bossa nova, a movement that was still establishing itself in that year of 1960. People like Roberto Menescal, Ronaldo Bôscoli, Carlos Lyra, Sérgio Ricardo, Chico Feitoso, alongside – of course – Tom Jobim and his partners Newton Mendonça and Aloysio de Oliveira. What is interesting is that Alaíde’s interpretations mixed the delicacy of her timbre with the intensity of someone who grew up hearing the samba-canções and boleros on the radio waves of the 1950s. On this CD, she sings some of the first versions of “Discussão,” “Chora Tua Tristeza” and “Fim de Noite”
– Rodrigo Faour, back cover of the reissue
ALAÍDE CANTA SUAVEMENTE
1960 RCA Victor (BBL 1062)
This is Alaíde Costa’s second long-player record. Her first album was largely put together at the instigation of João Gilberto, who saw in her a perfect vehicle for the emergent bossa nova movement. Previously she had recorded a few 78’s including the tune ‘Tarde Demais’ ((Hélio Costa/Anita Andrade), and Gilberto heard something special that he felt he had to tap into. It is not hard to imagine why. Unlike Elizete Cardoso, whose career was already well-established when she first cut her version of ‘Chega de Saudades’, here was a brand new talent whose musical identity had yet to be ossified into one genre or another. Moreover, unlike Cardoso’s brash, powerful voice, Alaíde Costa had a lightness and subtlety that must have seemed to João’s ears as tailor-made for the new music they were creating. The first album she made for RCA, ‘Gosta de Voce’ (1959) featured tunes from Gilberto, Carlos Lyra,Bôscoli, Tom & Vinicius, and also classics from Dolores Duran and other ancestors. This second album was even more a full-fledged Bossa Nova album (in capital letters) and among its highlights are lovely versions of Jobim’s “Esquecendo Você” and the often-recorded “Dindi” and Carlos Lyra’s “Ciúme.” As Rodrigo Faour notes in the reissue jacket (translated above) this album also debuted some classics of bossa nova like “Discusão” and “Fim da Noite” the former a partnership between Jobim and the short-lived Newton Mendonça.
It is a bit baffling to me that Alaíde Costa’s legacy and importance to bossa nova is not as celebrated as it ought to be. To some extent it may have something to do with her having to drop out of music for nearly quite a few years in the late sixties and early seventies due to health problems — She suffered some extensive hearing damage and loss when she attended a Who concert in São Paulo in 1968 and was positioned right in front of Pete Townsend’s amplifier when he began smashing his guitar.