Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sambossa Jazz

I had such a great time putting the previous Jazz selection together, that I thought it would be a good idea to go through all the great collection of Brazilian music I have, and write a post about Jazz from Brazil. Sambossa is a contraction between Samba and Bossa, and reflects the flavor of Brazilian Jazz really well.

In deed, if Brazil is famous for being the birthplace of Bossa Nova, and the the homeland of Samba music - the history of Jazz in Brazil is also very rich. This selection features some of the great names in the genre, and will certainly surprise you if you are not yet familiar with them.

The list starts out with Rubens Bassini, a bongo player who recorded many albums as a sideman for João Gilberto, Sergio Mendes, Dom Salvador and only 2 under his name. Bongos don't have a very large place in Bossa Nova, Samba and MPB as bongos are more associated with Afro-cuban music. Rubens is the face of Bongo music in Brazil - and what a face!

Next are 2 songs by jazz pianist João Donato, from his 1962 album "Muito a Vontade". Donato went on to become one of the most prolific piano arrangers in Brazil, working with artist like Tom Jobim, Deodato, Sergio Mendes, Astrud Gilberto, and many others.
This album was his first on the piano and was recorded in just 2 days and most of the songs were composed on the studio.

The following title is by "Corisco e os sambaloucos" and is filled with percussions, a mellow samba groove and amazing vibraphone and trumpet solos that last for more than half of the song!

J.T. Meirelles, the father of Samba Jazz, arranger of the first Jorge Ben albums, talented saxophonist and flautist, leader of the legendary "Copa 5", passed away only a few days ago on June 4th. These two songs are from his 1964 album "O Som", and this post is of course dedicated to his memory.

The two following songs are form Milton Banana Trio. Milton Banana was a seminal Bossa Nova drummer, and worked in the studio with all the greatest names: João Gilberto, Jobim, Stan Getz, Johnny Alf, Roberto Menescal, etc... He recorded the two most historic Bossa Nova albums (Chega de Saudade by J. Gilberto, and Getz/Gilberto), and can be credited with inventing the Bossa Nova drumming style.

Waltel Branco's 1966 album "Mancini Tambem è Samba" is made of Henry Mancini covers, including the title "Meglio stasera", from the Pink Panther Soundtrack.

Then comes Sambalanço Trio. A jazz trio with a very pure yet personal style, composed of César Camargo Mariano (piano), Humberto Clayber (bass) and Airto Moreira (drums). Mariano later became one of the biggest arrangers in Brazil, and Moreira after moving to the US, became one of the most famous jazz drummers in the world and has worked with Mlies Davis, Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Jack DeJohnette, John McLaughlin, Keith Jarrett, Al Di Meola, George Duke, the Greatful Dead, and Chick Corea (just to name a few).

Dom Salvador also is one of the biggest names in Brazilian music. Talented pianist, precursor in Samba Jazz, and Brazilian Funk, featured more than once already on this very blog, and currently living in New York City, where he still performs weekly.

The last few songs in this selection are far from being less good than the previous. Roberto Menescal is another founder of the Bossa Nova movement and a very talented guitarist. The two next outfits "Le Trio Camara" and "Mandrake Som" both recorded outside of Brazil. Le Trio Camara were a relatively unknown French trio, and they must have been listening to a lot of Brazilian music, which was very much in vogue in 1968, when they released their self-titled album. Inspired by the likes of João Gilberto, João Donato, Milton Banana, and Baden Powell, their bossa infused jazz is very lively, groovy and danceable. So good I put 3 songs from their album!!

So, if this selection of brazilian jazz rarities does not have you jumping on the table by now, no doubt you will be when you hear Mandrake Som. An obsucre Bossa-Jazz group that recorded this amazing album in Italy in 1975. The track "Reza" has a 2:30 mn percussion intro, and like I said, this will have you literally jumping on the table.

Closing track is Ed Lincoln's cover of "A Sack o' Woe" (Saca-Uo) from Cannonball Adderley's album "Mercy Mercy Mercy". Groovy organ action, Brazil style.

Tracklist is:

01. Rubens Bassini - Mirage, 1961
02. João Donato e Seu Trio - Naquela Base, 1962
03. João Donato e Seu Trio - Vamos Nessa, 1962
04. Corisco e os Sambaloucos - Volta por Cima, 1963
05. Meirelles e os Copa 5 - Quintessência, 1964
06. Meirelles e os Copa 5 - Solo, 1964
07. Milton Banana Trio - Minha Saudade, 1965
08. Milton Banana Trio - Garota de Ipanema, 1965
09. Sambalanço Trio - Tensao, 1965
10. Sambalanço Trio - Improviso Negro, 1966
11. Waltel Branco - Meglio stasera, 1966
12. Dom Salvador Trio - Freds Ahead, 1966
14. Roberto Menescal - Five Four, 1969
15. Le Trio Camara - Muito A Vontade, 1968
16. Le Trio Camara - Bia, 1968
17. Le Trio Camara - Noa Noa, 1968
18. Mandrake Som - Reza, 1975
19. Mandrake Som - Deixa Isso Pra La, 1975
20. Ed Lincoln - Sack O' Woe (Saca-Uo), 1968

Clique aqui pra baixar essa pérola, e disfruta sem parar ;)

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