Recorded in 1962 and 1963, this represents one of the first and most superb recordings of bossa nova. Byrd studied with Andres Segovia and brings that classical guitar touch to this gorgeous music that he and Stan Getz first introduced to American audiences the year before. Though he is presented here in settings with strings and horns, it is in the trio setting (with bassist Keter Betts and drummer/percussionist Bill Reichenbach) that he shines most brilliantly. It is in this setting that his definitive version of Jobim’s classic "Desfinado" is offered up so gently and authoritatively, and the version of Gilberto’s "Um Abraco No Nonfa" is delicate and rhythmic. Certainly, he was not limited to the trio setting. Gilberto’s "Ho Ba La La," with Earl Swope’s trombone and Charlie Hampton’s flute work shining, is impressive, as well. The cellos and French horn add a gorgeous Spanish flavor to Jobim’s "Insensatez" and Byrd’s own "Three Note Samba." Bonus cuts from Once More/Charlie Byrd’s Samba expand the collection to 18 sublime recordings. This is a bona fide masterpiece.