Composed by A.C. Jobim
How Insensitive – Insensatez in Portuguese – is one of the most played and recorded Brazilian tunes in jazz history. The Portuguese lyrics were written by Vinicius de Moraes and the English lyrics by Norman Gimbel. The form for this tune is particularly long and is said to resemble Chopin’s prelude in E minor.
The Nuts and Bolts
The long form makes it really fun to improvise over. While it is a standard 32 bars, this is a bossa nova and therefore is at a slower than usual tempo making the form seem long.
To summarize the harmony, the progressions are pretty neat. It begins in the key of D minor with a little change to C minor before returning to D minor at the end.
The two last sections both start on a Cm7, so be careful not to confuse them! A rule of thumb with regard to keeping the form on any tune is to always hear the melody in your head. This way, you’ll be thinking beyond the harmony.
How Insensitive: Comping Ideas
Here are some basic chord voicings you can use over this tune. Be sure to check out our bossa nova comping lesson for tips on how to approach this rhythmically.
How Insensitive: Chord Melody
How Insensitive: Single-Note Solo
There is lots to chew on in this one. Typically, it is not expected that you would play bebop-style lines over this kind of music, but I took the opportunity to go ahead and give you some licks anyway!
How Insensitive: Backing Track
If you’d like to download the backing track, you can do so here.
How Insensitive: Chord Reference Sheet
As always, we’ve also provided a chord reference sheet with a good amount of voicings to add to your arsenal! You can apply these to this tune right away.
-Diana Krall’s From This Moment On album released in 2006. This is a beautiful version and Diana Krall plays with some really great players here.
-Astrud Gilberto’s Astrud Gilberto’s Finest Hour collection released in 2001. The legendary Astrud Gilberto sings this beautifully with a wonderfully lush orchestra backing her.
-Joao Gilberto’s Joao Gilberto Songs collection. This is another wonderfully lush version with Joao’s classic voice.
-Sinatra/Jobim’s The Complete Reprise Recordings collection released in 2010. Frank Sinatra and A.C. Jobim. Is there really anything else that needs to be said?
Marc-Andre Seguin is the webmaster, “brains behind” and teacher on JazzGuitarLessons.net, the #1 online resource for learning how to play jazz guitar. He draws from his experience both as a professional jazz guitarist and professional jazz teacher to help thousands of people from all around the world learn the craft of jazz guitar.