Fans of vintage Brazilian music who have had to scour the used-record bins for albums by artists such as Bola Sete, Antonio Carlos Jobim and
Luiz Bonfa can rest easier. The Verve label has just reissued a batch of 10 CDs featuring those artists and more from the '60s and '70s, with several previously unreleased tracks.
"This series came about because we've been noticing as often happened over the course of the last few decades a resurgence of interest in Brazilian music," said Richard Seidel, the Verve executive who supervised the reissue series. "We always see good sales for Jobim and Getz and Gilberto, but we wanted to explore some other artists that dig a little deeper into different Brazilian styles or go a bit more pop like Sergio Mendes."
The worlds of Brazilian bossa nova and North American jazz came together in the early 1960s. In 1962, flutist Herbie Mann recorded in Brazil with pianist Mendes, composer/pianist and guitarist/vocalist Jobim and others. A year later tenor saxophonist Stan Getz had a genuine pop hit with vocalist Astrud Gilberto in "The Girl From Ipanema," off their Getz and Gilberto album.
Reflecting a long tradition, songs from many genres of Brazilian music now are part of the jazz musician's repertoire, just as Brazilian stylists have included jazz traditions into their music.
"My early years were spent listening to great musicians like Charlie Parker and Bud Powell and Dave Brubeck," Mendes said in a 1998 interview. "And North American jazz
musicians always fell in love with Brazilian music before, because it's different. It goes back to the days of Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd [who recorded the influential 1962
Jazz Samba album together], so it's a very old love affair."
Released under the label's midpriced Verve by Request line, each of the reissues has been digitally remastered and features the artwork, liner notes and song sequencing of the original LPs. Bonus tracks of alternate takes or previously unreleased numbers are added to the end of some albums.
Released last month, the first crop of titles includes Bonfa's Composer of "Black Orpheus" Plays & Sings Bossa Nova, Edu Lobo's Sergio Mendes Presents Edu Lobo, Sete's At the Monterey Jazz Festival and Cal Tjader's Plays the Contemporary Music of Mexico & Brazil.
The Bonfa release, from 1962, features the guitarist/singer in two settings: trio and solo guitar plus Lalo Schifrin's orchestrations. The 1972 Jobim album introduced the famed "Aquas de Março" (Waters of March) and
features several of his film themes, while Lobo's Sergio Mendes Presents Edu Lobo, recorded in 1970, was the singer's North American debut, featuring production by Mendes and
multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal and backing by the Brasil '66 rhythm section.
Guitarist Djalma "Bola Seta" de Andrada performed at the 1966 Monterey
Jazz Festival in a group with bassist/percussionist Sebastião Neto and drummer Paulinho Da Costa. The trio's performance, including three previously unreleased tracks, is featured on At the Monterey Jazz Festival. Tjader's Plays the Contemporary Music of Mexico & Brazil, from 1962, features the American vibraphonist's
13-piece band performing the compositions of Mexican composer Mario Ruiz Armengol.
Range Of Titles
Earlier this month Verve released five other titles. Mendes and Brasil 66 step up to the front of the bandstand with Look Around. Originally released in 1967 on the now-defunct A&M label, it features the popular Brasil 66 take on Burt Bacharach's "The Look of Love."
Jobim is featured in another release, his 1970 album Tide, highlights of which include an instrumental version of "The Girl From Ipanema," three alternate takes and a "master take in full."
We and the Sea (1963), from Tamba 4, an instrumental quartet that blended Brazilian, African, European classical and other traditions, features
leader and pianist/organist/composer Luiz Eta's "The Dolphin" (RealAudio excerpt).
Longtime Dave Brubeck Quartet member Paul Desmond's 1969 From the Hot Afternoon spotlights the alto saxophonist's cool tones with Don Sebesky's orchestra and arrangements.
The youngest of the 10 reissues, vocalist-guitarist Milton Nascimento's 1976 Milton was
recorded in California and features Wayne Shorter on soprano saxophone and pianist Herbie Hancock.
The Verve reissues combine the warmth of classic recordings with the crispness of contemporary digital remasters.