In the last few weeks two major musical names have died – ASTRUD GILBERTO and REUBEN WILSON.

Reluctant Brazilian vocalist ASTRUD GILBERTO died on Monday 5th June aged 83. She is of course best known for her vocals on the definitive version of  ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ but in a long career she recorded 16 albums  and worked with artists ranging from Quincy Jones to George Michael.

Her version of ‘The Girl From Ipanema’ sold more than five million copies and helped to popularise bossa nova. The song was recorded in New York in 1963 when her then husband guitarist João Gilberto was working with sax man Stan Getz. When a vocal was needed on the famous tune Joao suggested his wife should take it on. Producer Creed Taylor agreed and the rest…as they say… Oddly Astrud wasn’t even credited on the first release. But it did become a springboard for a successful career and a series of wonderful albums like an almost genre defining ‘Beach Samba’.

Rather belatedly we report the passing of soul-jazz organist REUBEN WILSON. It seems he died on Friday  May 26th , aged 88. Its suggested that he had been battling lung cancer. He was also suffering from dementia.

Wilson was active from the 60s and his Blue Note albums helped shape the sound of organ-led soul-jazz. His last album was 2011’s ‘Revisited’. In the hip-hop and Acid Jazz eras his music was widely sampled – especially his best known tune, the wild and funky ‘Got To Get Your Own’. And if you want an aural definition of classic soul-jazz check out Wilson’s 8 minute plus version of ‘I Say A Little Prayer’.