Nara Leão, Edu Lobo, Tamba Trio – 5 Na Bossa (1965)

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5 NA BOSSA
Edu Lobo / Nara Leão / Tamba Trio
1965 Philips 632.769 L
2013 Remaster


1 – Carcará  (José Cândido, João do Vale)   
2 – Reza  (Ruy Guerra, Edu Lobo)   
3 – O trem atrasou  (Paquito, Vilarinho, Estanislau Silva)   
4 – Zambi  (Edu Lobo, Vinicius de Moraes)   
5 – Consolação  (Baden Powell, Vinicius de Moraes)   
6 – Aleluia  (Ruy Guerra, Edu Lobo)   
7 – Cicatriz  (Zé Keti, Hermínio Bello de Carvalho)   
8 – Estatuinha  (Gianfrancesco Guarnieri, Edu Lobo)   
9 – Minha história  (Raymundo Evangelista, João do Vale)   
10 – O morro não tem vez (Tom Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes)   

Recorded live at the Paramount Theater, São Paulo

Remastered by Luigi Hoffer and Carlos Savalla at Digital Mastering Solutions

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Well there isn’t a tremendous amount to say about this brief live record.  Solid performances from everyone involved, although the recording itself is less than prestine and seems to have been made worse by questionable remastering that now makes the album feature clipped samples and very obvious noise reduction artifacts… Why do I keep buying CDs just to hear myself complain when I know they’ll screw them up?  Well this otherwise pretty rare so there’s one reason.

Tamba Trio sounds fantastic, as usual, and the two cuts they have to themselves here are nice and long showcases.  Nara is a bit uneven, unfortunately.  Her imperfect intonation was always part of her charm, but in this live setting – inside a large auditorium-style theater and no stage monitors (being 1965) – her pitch is more off than usual.  In fact “Cicatriz,” a song that goes outside her vocal range to begin with, is a downright painful listen.  She sounds excellent singing with Edu Lobo on Aleluia, though.  Sr. Lobo just celebrated his 70th birthday, so it’s a particularly good time to enjoy this rare live recording of him in his youth.  The liner notes thank Aloysio de Oliveira (the man behind Elenco) for loaning him out for this recording.  He sings one of my favorite compositions of his too, “Reza.”

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Zimbo Trio – Zimbo Trio Vol.2 (1966) 24bit 96khz Vinyl

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ZIMBO TRIO – VOL. 2
Zimbo Trio
1966 on RGE (XRLP 5277)
Mono pressing

1 Arrastão
(Edu Lobo, Vinicius de Moraes)
2 Balanço Zona Sul
(Tito Madi)
3 Zomba
(Maria Helena Toledo, Luiz Bonfá)
4 Insolação
(Adylson Godoy)
5 Zimba
(Tito)
6 Reza
(Ruy Guerra, Edu Lobo)
7 Samba 40 graus
(Adylson Godoy)
8 Garota de charme
(Maria Helena Toledo, Luiz Bonfá)
9 Vai de vez
(Luiz Fernando Freire, Roberto Menescal)
10 Balada de um sonho meu
(Hamilton Godoy)
11 O rei triste
(Luiz Chaves)
12 Aleluia
(Ruy Guerra, Edu Lobo)

Vinyl original mono pressing ; Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable (with Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge, Speedbox power supply); Creek Audio OBH-15; M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Soundcard ; WaveLab LE 7 at 32-bit float 96khz; Click Repair light settings; individual clicks and pops taken out with Adobe Audition 3.0 – dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced (for 16-bit). Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag&Rename.

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This is a pretty incredible jazz-bossa album, with all the heat of a hard bop session but with that bossa sensibility of keeping all the tunes under 5 minutes long. Their version of “Arrastão” (from Edu Lobo and Vinícius) which opens this album is probably their ‘signature tune’, and it is instantly endearing by the time it crescendos into the chorus where the tempo is cut in half and swung very very heavy. Godoy’s classical training seeps through his playing everywhere, with strains of Chopin mingling with his jazz key tickling. Luiz Chaves is one hell of a bassist, and it is a shame and travesty, in my opinion, that Zimbo Trio has continued to perform without him (and — worse than that — included an ELECTRIC bass..). Rubinho Barsotti is also great on trap kit, his work with mallets and cymbals being some of the best I’ve heard in this genre. Although some of these tunes – like the two from Edu Lobo, ‘Arrastão’ and ‘Reza’ — were part of Elis Regina’s repetoire and thus receiving nightly treatments by the Zimbo Trio when they were backing her up, it is the original tunes here that really chama atenção. If the manic opening bass riff of ‘Insolação’ doesn’t call your attention, then just turn the record off and find something else to listen to because you can’t be satisfied. “Samba 40 graus” is another original that makes me wonder if these guys were into amphetamines, trying to save money on studio time, or just in a hurry, but the result is ear-engaging. These guys did know how to chill out as well, however, and “Balada de um sonho meu” is about as pretty a jazz ballad one could hope for, followed the by the gentling swinging ‘O rei triste’ penned by Chavez. For “the sad king” it actually sounds pretty uplifting to me, and has some of Godoy’s most inspired playing on the record.

I shouldn’t forget to mention the two tunes from Luiz Bonfá and Maria Helena Toledo, which are both marvelous. “Zomba” has what may be the most ethereal opening of a mid-60s jazz bossa album I can think of, beginning with only Godoy on piano playing a cluster of chords around one note that fades out like a slow raindrop as Luiz comes in on bowed bass strings, a splash of cymbals from Barsotti so subtle you might miss it – and then at nearly two minutes this orchestral evocation transforms, the urbane becomes urban and streetwise, and Godoy’s erudition tackles blue intervals and the band swings it and swings it hard. Check out how hard he rocks just two notes starting at 2 minutes and 50 seconds, for about five seconds, before breaking down the melody into a dozen fragments of different voicing and tempo. Throughout the whole second half he manages to squeeze in these vertiginous arpeggios into the rest of what he’s concocting. He plays a variation of the single-note trick on us again in the OTHER Bonfa/Toledo tune, “Garota de charme”, where he gently taps out some augmented and diminished chords with his right hand while his left plays a melody in unison with Luiz Chavez’s bass. Charming, indeed. It only last a few seconds but it makes the track for me; it’s these small moments of skin tightness that makes a tune that is only 2 minutes and 16 seconds long seem like it plays for five minutes.

I worked for quite a while on this vinyl rip of this relic, half-century old piece of petroleum, and I think it sounds pretty peachy. Hopefully you will too.

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Elis Regina – Elis Especial (1968)

PhotobucketELIS REGINA
“Elis Especial”
Released 1968 on PhilipsFrom the first measure of “Samba do Perdão”, this album has an excitement that it manages to maintain throughout the entire record. The Tom Jobim tribute, for whatever reason, did not impress me much the first time I heard it — perhaps it’s the way she rocks the “suingue” of ‘Vou Te Contar’ the second time around, which is now precisely the thing I love about it. I am a sucker for pretty much anything with a guitar played through an old Fender amp with the tremolo turned up somewhere between 8 and 10, and so the next track “De Onde Vens” just melts me. It’s also one of the earliest tracks of Elis Regina to feature and electric guitar at all, if I’m not mistaken. I could keep going like this, blow by blow and song by song, but you would do best to just give it a spin. The album features a choice repetoire of songs penned by the likes of Baden Powell, Dori Caymmi and Nelson Motta, Chico Buarque, Roberto Menescal and Ronaldo Bôscoli, Edu Lobo, Capinan, and Gilberto Gil (a pre-Tropicalia composition). The closing piece, a medley of songs in tribute to the Mangueira samba school, highlights one of Elis’s many skills, the ability to make you forget that her performances span virtually the entire recorded history of Brazilian music in her choice of material. It’s a shame that the session musicians are not credited, as they are really smoking throughout the entire album. Elis describes the recording session in the liner notes, saying that it felt like they were at home practicing, dimming the lights and getting loose. By the last few minutes of the Mangueira medley,when the rhythm section is doing dexterous somersaults in two different meters, I want to go shake Armando Pittigliani’s hand for leaving them all enough room to stretch out.01 – Samba do Perdão (Baden Powell / Paulo César Pinheiro)
02 – “Tributo a Tom Jobim” Vou Te Contar (Tom Jobim) Fotografia (Tom Jobim) Outra Vez (Tom Jobim) Vou Te Contar (Tom Jobim)
03 – De Onde Vens (Dori Caymmi / Nelson Motta)
04 – Bom Tempo (Chico Buarque)
05 – Da Cor do Pecado (Bororó)
06 – Corrida de Jangada (Edu Lobo / Capinan)
07 – Carta ao Mar (Roberto Menescal / Ronaldo Bôscoli)
08 – Vira-mundo (Gilberto Gil / Capinan)
09 – Upa Neguinho (Edu Lobo / Gianfrancesco Guarnieri)
10 – “Tributo à Mangueira” Mangueira (Assis Valente / Zequinha Reis) Fala Mangueira (Mirabeau / Milton de Oliveira) Exaltação à Mangueira (Enéas Brites da Silva / Aloísio Augusto da Costa) Levanta Mangueira (Luis Antônio) Despedida de Mangueira (Aldo Cabral / Benedito Lacerda) Pra Machucar Meu Coração (Ary Barroso)

Produced by Armando Pittigliani
Arrangements ay Erlon Chaves

The wonderfully memorable photo (in the note Elis writes that it was the best photo she ever had taken of her..) is by Hélio Santos for the magazine “Manchete.”

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