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Archive for the ‘Marcos Valle’ Category

Lovely Day: Aretha, Sly, Andy, Marvin and Billie Headline “The Brazil Connection”

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Brazil ConnectionWell, summer is officially upon us! Already there’s talk about which songs will be anointed the perfect summer jams for 2014 – songs by artists like Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea and the ubiquitous Pharrell Williams. If those names don’t set your pulse racing, however, Legacy Recordings has an alternative that’s bound to conjure up images of tropical sunsets, refreshing drinks and summer breeze. Studio Rio Presents The Brazil Connection makes over 12 pop classics from the Sony vaults by melding the original vocals with new bossa nova and samba arrangements written and/or played by some of Brazil’s top musicians including Torcuato Mariano, Paulo Braga, and bossa legends Marcos Valle and Roberto Menescal. The artists represent a cross-section of genres such as R&B (Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye) to jazz (Billie Holiday, Dave Brubeck and Carmen McRae), and traditional pop (Andy Williams, Mel Torme). The Brazil Connection arrives in stores today, just in time to coincide with the 2014 World Cup being held in Brazil.

Producers Frank and Christian Berman’s Studio Rio aggregation is successful in retaining an organic sound for most of these familiar recordings in their new, chill Brazilian settings. One can fairly question the practice of grafting new productions around vintage tracks – especially from deceased artists, whether Williams, Holiday, Gaye or Brubeck, just to name a few – but these Rio de Janeiro-made recordings are fun, tasteful and faithful to the spirit, if not the style, of the originals.

Most radical – and one of the album’s undisputed highlights – is the transformation of Sly and the Family Stone’s 1971 chart-topper “Family Affair” from lean, dark funk to soft and sensual tropicalia. Gone are the electric piano, bass and early drum machine; in their place is a lush and mellow complement of guitar, piano, bass, drums, flugelhorn, tenor and alto saxophones and trombone. The Isley Brothers’ “It’s Your Thing” and Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” both get rousing, lively reinventions from co-arrangers Mariano and The Berman Brothers. (“It’s Your Thing” is also featured on Sony’s official World Cup 2014 album, One Love, One Rhythm.) Another R&B great, Bill Withers, sees his 1977 “Lovely Day” shorn of its sleek R&B rhythm and replaced with a brassy yet contemporary Brazilian groove. One misses the iconic original backing of Johnny Nash’s 1972 No. 1 hit “I Can See Clearly Now,” though the new, cheerful backing is a perfect match for the song’s lyrical sentiments.

Unsurprisingly, Aretha Franklin’s 1964 recording of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “Walk on By” lends itself well to the treatment here. One of the Queen of Soul’s Columbia tracks that most anticipates her soulful direction at the Atlantic label, “Walk on By” thrives in Roberto Menescal’s alluring arrangement, as Latin rhythms are in the DNA of a Bacharach melody. Similarly, Mel Torme’s 1965 rendition of Cole Porter’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” is a natural for Studio Rio, with arranger Mario Adnet seemingly channeling Claus Ogerman’s work on the seminal Sinatra/Jobim collaboration between another great American singer and Brazil’s answer to George Gershwin. Marcos Valle turns in a fun chart (and also plays Fender Rhodes) on Andy Williams’ hard-swinging “Music to Watch Girls By.” Williams was no stranger to Valle’s music, making this a particularly inspired choice. Roberto Menescal joins Valle on guitar for this upbeat samba.

We have more after the jump – including the complete track listing and order links!   Read the rest of this entry »

Release Round-Up: Week of February 19

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Herb Alpert - FandangoHerb Alpert, Fandango (Shout! Factory)

Alpert’s 1982 album, long unavailable on CD, is now back in print! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Etta is Betta Than EvvahEtta James, Etta is Betta Than Evah! + Bonus Tracks (Kent)

Etta’s final album for Chess Records, released in 1976, is expanded with 10 extra tracks from other Etta projects from the mid-’70s. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The Raw & The CookedFine Young Cannibals, Fine Young Cannibals: Deluxe Edition The Raw & The Cooked: Deluxe Edition (Edsel)

Both albums by the U.K. trio behind “She Drives Me Crazy” and “Good Thing” have been expanded as two-disc sets brimming with B-sides and remixes.

Fine Young Cannibals: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Raw & The CookedAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Five Star RemixFive Star, The Remix Anthology 1984-1991 (Cherry Pop)

The U.K. pop/R&B sibling act from the ’80s (just one of those existed, I think) get a two-disc set of their biggest 12″ dance mixes. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Marcos Valle - Previsao do TempoMarcos Valle, Vento Sul Previsão do Tempo (Light in the Attic)

Closing the loop on the week’s release schedule, another jazz-fusion artist has two of his long-out-of-print LPs (from 1972 and 1973, respectively) revived on both CD and vinyl, with Vento Sul featuring one bonus track.

Vento Sul CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. // Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Previsão do Tempo CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. // Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Clive bookClive Davis with Anthony DeCurtis, The Soundtrack of My Life (Simon & Schuster)

And finally, no music enthusiast’s release schedule would be complete without the new autobiography of one of the most notable record men of the century, who speaks candidly about his collaborations with Whitney Houston, Barry Manilow, Aretha Franklin, Bruce Springsteen, Santana, Rod Stewart, Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson and a whole lot more! Copies purchased at Target retailers come with an exclusive CD featuring some of Clive’s favorite hits he oversaw, as well. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Written by Mike Duquette

February 19, 2013 at 08:05

So Nice: Light in the Attic Remasters, Expands Four Albums From Brazilian Bossa Legend Marcos Valle

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Marcos Valle - Vento Sul

After The Walter Wanderley Trio introduced “Summer Samba (So Nice)” to American record buyers in 1966, the breezy bossa nova tune immediately caught on, transporting listeners to the tropics via recordings by Johnny Mathis, Vikki Carr, Connie Francis and the original voice of “The Girl from Ipanema,” Astrud Gilberto.  But “So Nice” is just one of the musical gifts bestowed over the years by Brazilian composer Marcos Valle.  Beginning next Tuesday, January 15, Light in the Attic is beginning a four-album Marcos Valle reissue series beginning with the 1970 self-titled album that reintroduced Valle and his rapidly-evolving music.  All of these remastered titles will be available on CD, LP and digitally.

Signed to EMI’s Odeon Records label in 1963, Valle and his brother Paulo Sergio Valle soon wrote the original “Samba De Verã,” the song that would become known as “So Nice” with Norman Gimbel’s English lyrics.  Valle headed for America, working with Sergio Mendes and riding the crest of the bossa nova wave.  He was introduced to the U.S. on the 1967 Warner Bros. album Braziliance! which featured Eumir Deodato’s arrangements of Valle’s soon-to-be bossa nova standards including “So Nice,” “The Face I Love” and “Crickets Sing for Anamaria.”  He then teamed with producer Creed Taylor at Verve for another upbeat outing, Samba ’68, again with Deodato in the arranger’s chair.  After rubbing elbows with the likes of Andy Williams and Henry Mancini, though, Valle ultimately chose to return to Brazil to pursue his creative muse.  He continued to record for Odeon following his American excursion, recording well-received albums including 1968’s Viola Enularada, and 1969’s Mustang Cor De Sangue.

After the jump: details on all four of LITA’s upcoming Valle reissues! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 10, 2013 at 13:25

Posted in Marcos Valle, News, Reissues