The 7/8 bar in Corcovado

The Album of the Year Grammy Award winning Getz/Gilberto came out in 1964.

There’s not much more to say about this album… it sold 2 million copies in the year of release and helped propel even further the success of Bossa Nova in the US and worldwide.

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Not much more to say, except there’s a 7/8 bar in Corcovado! You heard correctly, and here first!

By the end of Getz’ solo and into Jobim’s solo, you will notice that the ending is cut and there’s a bit of an interruption of the tempo. You think the bass is anticipating the beat, but he’s actually on time, everything just shifted an eight note back (if you’re thinking in 4/4).

The moment it happens is at 3:00.

 

I’m sure no one was thinking about 7/8 there. What I think happened is that in the editing of the takes, they decided to merge two different takes and that was the only spot that worked. Remember that this is 1963 (the year the album was actually tracked) and there was no Pro Tools or any other DAW!

I also read in Wikipedia that there was a lot of disagreements between Gilberto and Getz about the takes, so they probably had to take exaggerated measures to make the record happen.

It’s funny how natural it sounds even though there’s a clear interruption of the beat there.

What do you think happened there? Do you think Milton Banana had a hip idea of inserting just one bar of 7/8 in that spot?

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