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6. Stan Getz with João Gilberto featuring Astrud Gilberto: “The Girl from Ipanema” (Getz/Gilberto; Verve, 1964)

Then again, if one never heard another of Getz’s recordings, one would miss out on the one jazz song that came as close to defining 1964 (though it was recorded the previous year) as the Beatles did. Most of the Grammy-winning, astonishingly timeless tune belongs to Brazilian guitarist/vocalist João Gilberto and his wife Astrud (who had never before sung professionally but became a star at this very moment), with some light piano fills by songwriter (and Brazilian icon) Antonio Carlos Jobim. Yet when they’re finished, up comes the breathy tenor saxophone with a thematic, achingly beautiful interpretation that even after almost 60 years sounds vital and tender. Was there ever any doubt that it would feature on this list?

Learn more about Getz/Gilberto on Amazon and Walmart.