Quarteto Em Cy "Som Definitivo" was the first brazilian LP I purchased because I liked the cover. Before that I had only been familiar with Sergio Mendes and things like Les Baxter or Michel LeGrands excellent Rio LP. The darkness and power of Som Definitivo blew me away. Instead of the sacharine sweet vocals and ultra-clean arrangements of Sergio Mendes this sounded like 4 rowdy schoolgirls who got dragged into the studio off the street. The sound was much more throaty and the music by Tamba Trio is the primitive repetitious acoustic stuff that, personally, affects me the most. they do a lot of "call-and-response" type of arrangements. I always imagine the solitary life of people living in Bahia and the importance of the sea and the repetitious sound of the breaking waves in much of the music and the voices of the 4 girls like ghosts of the sea calling out to the fishermen. (I make up all kinds of stupid shit about the songs becasue I can't understand a word their saying anyway) Quarteto Em Cy also perfom on the classic Baden Powell/Vinicius De Moraes LP "Os Afro Sambas." In one of my earlier comments I mention that I have been told that Voodoo had a big influence on the people of Brazil and this LP is the best example of this influence.
This entire album is beautiful and fascinating. I seem to be a sucker for rather melancholic, afflicted, and intoxicating sounds, so here I go again. The first half of this song is slow and haunting, I don't understand Portuguese, but the tone sounds like a filmic remembrance of tragically lost love, with yearning lyrics paired to beautiful piano-led orchestration . In the middle of the song there is a break of dark, doomy strings, followed by the second half, which is a quicker tempoed revisit of the first half, taking the form of a psychic climax.
This Hillard and Garson song first recorded by the Romantics in 1963 gets a smoothe Bossa makeover on Eduardo Costa's LP "Eduardo Costa & Os Hitmakers." It has Hammond organ leads and 60's guitar and a mod sound similar to the many Parlophone/Odeon releases of the same period. Its a sweet melody and the LP has a fantastic cover with Eduardo standing at the Hammond in s shag-rugged recording studio wearing an outfit that would make Austin Powers jealous.
A smooth jazz-funk groove with Rhodes and synths playing melodically against each other. It sounds like Azymuth. In fact, it is Azymuth. Conversation, glasses clinking, a girl laughs in the distance. And Silvio's voice comes in, nice and mellow, describing what it's like to have a bunch of friends over for a get-together. Although he's one of Brazil's hippest crooners, a man who specializes in somewhat cliched yet mysteriously cool and affecting love songs, he lays back here and lets the country's greatest jazz-fusion outfit do its thing. How many romantic crooners ever do that?
The wonderful arrangement never fails to impress me whenever i listen to this Gilberto song (I always thought this was an Ogermann arrangement just to find out recently it's by Don Sebesky). Anyway, the arrangement is excellent: with its incredibly lush, glissanding strings it feels like you're just about to leave a 60s jet set lounge to enter your private plane on a sunny summer day that takes off to Rio. Well, that's how it sounds to me anyway...
from The Shadow Of Your Smile, available on CD (Verve)