Woohoo! My first recommendation.
Bernard Kawka, one time vocalist for the Novi Singers, recorded this little dancefloor filler in 1989. It has a slight Steely Dan/Donald Fagen sound and feel to it, which doesn't usually grab my attention in this way, but this really is a fantastic track. Great arrangements by Bernard too. He's joined by Polish female vocalist Ewa Bem who was in a Novi-esque vocal group in the 70's named Bemibem. I'd never heard of this group before buying the compilation that "Sky's the Limit" is found on. The comp is titled "Holding Hands - Rare Jazz/Fusion Gems From Polish Vaults Vol. 2". It's on the English label "Cosmic Sounds", which must've passed me by because they've been releasing compilations for at least the past 4 years and I hadn't come across them before. The "Holding Hands" comp is really suprisingly good. Every track is a winner.
* P.S. Please excuse the MP3 quality. I wanted to fit as much of it in as I could.
from Metamorphosis (Muza) available on CD - Holding Hands (Cosmic Sounds - London)
Sublime bossa from Japan's Himiko Kikuchi. The sound of a soprano sax causes many to reach for the "off" switch (thanks Kenny G!), but Himiko has made it not only acceptable again, but almost hip (almost!). The song starts off with baby noises, before wordless, female vocals come in and introduce the memorable melody. It then moves into a suitably paced bossa rhythm. I have been listening to this track for a few years now (courtesy of Compost Record's "Glücklich IV" compilation), and I just can't tire of it. It's one of my all time favourites.
available on CD - Glüklich IV (Compost Records)
27 Oct 05 ·LadyS: I totaly agree with you! What´s baby singin´catch my ears since the first time i´ve listened to it on "Glücklich IV". This sax "a la Kenny G" could be avoided and a trombone would sound better, but even so this almost little slip is very well maked up by the great solo rhodes and the super cool female vocal singing a la Flora Purim the gorgeous melody, that grap in in your ears instantaneously. A lovely, sweet and beautiful song that won´t never stop to play at my playlist. Classic!
This was the first version of this song that I'd heard, but have since discovered that it has been recorded many times. The song is written by Michel Colombier & Paul Williams and this version is somewhat haunting, whilst, at the same time, it's also spacey and heavenly. The lush vocals give the song its "other worldly" sound.
available on CD - Afternoon Tea Music - Clear Herb Tea (Universal Music)
22 Apr 05 ·Mr Steal: I only ever heard this once - been looking for it ever since. It's truly lovely.
I should say that Scott Walker does a really nice version of the song on his much-maligned (but actually pretty OK - albeit covers only) LP Any Day Now.
One time member of the Sambalanço Trio, Cesar Camargo Mariano, teams up with French teenage seductress, France Gall for this fast-paced jazz-samba. Her voice oozes innocence but also sex, like a French Astrud Gilberto. A true coquette.
The band was recorded in Brazil, the vocals recorded and overdubbed later in France. This track evokes the "international" feel of the 60's where covert deals were done in international airport lounges and in the back of limousines.
This really is the stand-out track from Ed Motta's 2000 album, "As Segundas Intenções Do Manual Prático". On this album, and in albums since, Ed seems to span jazz-latin reluctantly with pop. The rest of the album, bar a couple of tracks, is a fairly straight forward pop affair, but the song writing on his albums since have been a lot more adventurous and in this vein, but nothing has matched it since.
from As Segundas Intenções Do Manual Prático (Mercury Records 73145428032), available on CD