Bossa Nova: Music of Modern Love - Page 6

Reaching back to the 1960s to the cool, sultry sound that riveted Brazil and seduced the world

album cover 8 Jorge Ben: Samba Esquema Novo (Universal - 1963) It's a kick to hear the popular 'Mas Que Nada' as the composer intended it, in his voice (which Ben deploys with a sort of yodel) accompanied by his guitar. Ben also makes extensive, sometimes gratuitous, use of falsetto and scatting, but proves the lyrical advantage of Portuguese.


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9 Miguel Angel: Samba Na Ondo (What Music - 1964) Pianist Angel leads three other members of the group Os Ipanemas in a vibrant session evocative of the piano-led jazz ensembles of Vince Guaraldi and Ahmad Jamal. The jingly 'Telefone' rings again here, confirming the rightful role of smart instrumental solos in bossa.


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10 Os Ipanemas: Os Ipanemas (Mr. Bongo - 1964) This group is not as focused on--and not as good at--bossa as it is on a more percussion-driven samba, sometimes brassed up with horns. You'll feel something of the bustle of a Carnaval parade, and a jazzy swing that's like a gentler alternative to salsa.


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11 Sérgio Mendes: The Swinger from Rio (WEA International - 1965-66) For those who associate Carioca Mendes with his part-American, wholly successful pop group Brasil '66, this is a chance to hear the man before success steered him in other directions, behind his piano, leading a post-bop ensemble. It's busier and slicker than purists might prefer.


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12 Eumir Deodato: Impulso! (Ubatuqui - 1964) The cutesy jazz arrangements, piloted by Deodato's organ, may make you think about '60s Hollywood composer Henry Mancini, or also about elevators and ice rinks you may have frequented at that time. Compare and contrast Deodato's tinselly take on 'Ela é Carioca.'


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13 Quarteto Bossamba - Walter Wanderley (Som Maior/Som Livre - 1965) This album is another (hard-to-find) revelation of the quality of a performer we'd heard mostly on the pop charts, in this case Walter Wanderley. The selection of tunes from his native Brazil is tasty, the arrangements uniquely creative, evocative, and well-performed.


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14 Luiz Chaves e Seu Conjuncto: Projeção (RGE/Som Livre - 1963) Look to the name of the band and of their track, 'Influência Do Jazz,' for clues; this is less bossa than it is a classy homage to both big band a la Stan Kenton and to salsa, but with Brazilian repertoire and percussion. The virtuosic piano at times waxes almost avant-garde.


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15 Bossa Jazz Trio: Bossa Jazz Trio (Fermata/Som Livre - 1965) Here's bossa you might enjoy with your serving of feijoada in a classy Copacabana hotel restaurant, or in the lounge after, led by the bold but swinging (and singing) piano of Amilson Godoy. Bossa and jazz preconceptions both get reworked and skillfully integrated.


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16 Ike Quebec: Soul Samba (Blue Note - 1962) As the title suggests, saxist Quebec takes both samba and bossa into indigo shades of blue, with Latinized support from percussionist Willie Bobo and guitarist Kenny Burrell. Quebec's gentle, breathy handling lets even Liszt's 'Liebenstraum' sound like good bossa.