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Lani Hall, Brasil Nativo

Lani Hall,
    Brasil Nativo

It is a testament to the universality of Bossa Nova that Brazilian Days,
the new Living Music set from saxophonist Paul Winter and guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves,
began life in the loft of Winter’s rural Connecticut barn. It was there in the bright New
England spring that the two old friends and master musicians poured through a virtual
treasure trove of Bossa Nova classics, and began to shape the contours of what would
become their premiere duet album. The results are nothing less than a stunning rebirth of
one of the most influential popular music styles of the last fifty years.
Considering that Winter and Castro-Neves have been friends for more than thirty years,
and have collaborated on many prior projects, it’s a bit surprising that the two had never
recorded a duet album. "It’s been a long-standing dream of ours to do this,"
notes Winter. "Things really started to percolate when we were in Rio together for
the Earth Summit in 1992. We played a series of gigs then, and it was so gratifying, we
knew we simply had to make an album together." Castro-Neves later joined Winter at
his Connecticut home, where the two surveyed a definitive Bossa Nova collection compiled
by famed Brazilian Days music publisher Almir Chediak, jamming for several
days and working up arrangements of more than 150 incomparably beautiful songs.
"It was a lot of fun for me," recalls Castro-Neves of the experience.
"It was a way of looking back, of revisiting my past." As one of the true
pioneers of the Bossa Nova movement, Oscar speaks the truth. He was there in Rio de
Janeiro in the late 50’s when geniuses like Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao Gilberto first
blended the impressionistic harmonies of Ravel and Debussy with syncopated rhythms of
Brazilian music. Bossa Nova (Portuguese for "new touch") was born then, and it
changed the world of music forever. Winter and Castro-Neves took their time paring down
150 songs to a manageable number. In March of 1997, Paul and Oscar recorded demos of 50
favorites, and from there the final dozen were chosen. In September of last year, the pair
were joined in the studio by bassist Nilson Matta and drummer Paulo Braga, two seasoned
veterans of the Brazilian Days music scene both here and in Brazil. "It
was a natural match," says Oscar. "Both musically and personally, it was an
atmosphere of sharing." Adds Paul, "We wanted to be totally simple and totally
gentle in the original Bossa Nova tradition."
Paul then packed up the master tapes and took one of his heralded recording expeditions
to the Grand Canyon. He had previously recorded two albums in the pristine outdoor
environment of the canyon. "I had found a wonderful side canyon with amazing
acoustics in 1985," says Winter. "We called it Bach’s Canyon. Because I love how
it feels to play there, I wanted to do my sax parts for Brazilian Days there
too. We back-packed into the canyon in a pair of DA-88 8-track machines, solar power gear,
a mixing board, food and tents for a ten day stay. It was amazing to be this far from
civilization and to put on earphones and hear this exquisite Brazilian Days
music. I closed my eyes and was in heaven."
Most of the songs on Brazilian Days would likely be unfamiliar to North
American audiences, who may readily recall classics like "Girl From Ipanema" and
the theme from "Orpheus," but don’t know the bulk of Bossa Nova standards.
"We made no concession to commercialism," says Paul. "We didn’t do the
hits. We wanted to make an album with something of the same ingenuous attitude that Jobim
and Gilberto had when they recorded their first albums in the 50’s."
Some of Bossa Nova’s greatest composers are represented on the new album, Jobim, Carlos
Lyra, Noel Rosa, Vinícius de Moraes, Edu Lobo and Luiz Eça among them. Songs include
"Aula de Matemática," "Coisa Mais Linda," "Feitio de
Oração," "Feio Não É Bonito," "Minha Namorada," "Também
Quem Mandou," "Ana Luíza," "Feitiço da Vila," "Canto
Triste," "Imagem," "Por Causa de Você," and "Se É Tarde me
Perdoa." All are performed with characteristic grace and serenity, with understated
eroticism and playfulness. Though the only non-Brazilian Days in the
quartet, Winter had long ago earned the admiration of his colleagues. "Paul has been
living this music for a long while," says Oscar. "When you listen to the album,
and hear his phrasing, his spirit, you see how well he understands the music."
Winter was one of the first American jazz musicians to go to Brazil and encounter Bossa
Nova first hand. The Pennsylvania-born Winter began studying sax at age nine. At
Northwestern University, he majored in English while absorbing jazz in local Chicago
nightclubs. In 1961, he formed the Paul Winter Sextet, which was soon signed by Columbia
Records. The next year, the group became the first student jazz group ever sent abroad in
a U.S. State Department-sponsored tour. Destination: South America. In June of 1962,
following the Sextet’s concert in Rio de Janeiro, Paul met a young Brazilian
guitarist named Oscar Castro-Neves. The music of Brazil so enthralled Winter that he
returned in 1964 for a linger visit, spending most of a year living in the Ipanema section
of Rio and recording with Brazilian musicians.
A jazz aficionado since his early teens, Oscar too was swept up in the creative energy
typified by the advent of Jobim and Gilberto. He went on to become one of his nation’s
leading jazz guitarists/composers/arrangers. A move to the United States in the late 60’s
helped him broaden his audience. His old friend Paul Winter enlisted him to join the
increasingly popular Consort, which earned legions of fans of all generations thanks to
albums like Road and Icarus (which was produced by the Beatles’ George Martin, who
described it as "the finest album I’ve ever made").
In 1980 Winter founded Living Music, his own label and home base, which blended Paul’s
love of music and his passion for the natural environments of the earth. The label went on
to release albums by Winter, Castro-Neves (Oscar in 1986), Pete Seeger, and even some that
included non-human voices such as Songs of the Humpback Whale and Earth: Voices of a
Planet. For more than twenty years, the two-time Grammy-winner has been a tireless
crusader to bring music, as well as spiritual and environmental awareness, to a vast
audience, having played in more than 30 countries over the course of his career.
Oscar, meanwhile has enjoyed an equally successful career. He recently teamed with Yo
Yo Ma on the cellist’s chart-topping Tango album, and he served as producer/arranger for
Otmar Leibert’s best-selling album. He tours frequently, and, for the last six summers,
has been the mastermind behind the annual Brazilian Days music night at the
Hollywood Bowl. This summer, in fact, he and Paul will appear to perform music from Brazilian
Days Days. Oscar also co-produced The Brasil Project and Chez Toots, the
most recent Toots Thielemans release on Windham Hill.
Even with their many diverse projects, both Paul and Oscar agree the time has come for
a resurgence of Bossa Nova. "It’s coming back, the same way the music of Parker,
Gillespie, and Coltrane is coming back," notes Castro-Neves. "For many people,
these are the roots of their musical world. Young people are looking for the
sources." Adds Paul, "In the 60’s, Bossa Nova was overcommercialized, and the
simple magic we knew in the beginning was lost. Other kinds of popular music took over.
The world was going too fast, and that quiet moment was trampled over. But this music is
as timely and vital now as it was then. It has stood the test of time." 
Visit the Windham Hill website at http://www.windham.com

GUILHERME VERGUEIRO, Amazon Moon

Americans are used to those intrepid individuals who have earned the label of
"bi-coastal." But that’s kid’s stuff for Brazilian
pianist/composer/arranger Guilherme Vergueiro: he’s "bi-hemispheric,"
dividing his time between Los Angeles and his hometown of Rio de Janeiro. While racking up
the frequent flier miles, Guilherme has done as much as anyone to spread the gospel of
Brazilian music. Now, with his new Windham Hill Jazz album Amazon Moon—a
set of Mike Stoller compositions arranged and interpreted by Guilherme—the pianist
bridges two worlds while creating a rich tableau of passionate music.
Stoller and Vergueiro met while the latter was headlining a Hollywood club. The two
formed a fast friendship, nurtured by their mutual love of Brazilian music. The writer of
countless classic pop songs from "Jailhouse Rock" to "Is That All There
Is?," Stoller had long harbored a passion for Brazilian music, finally finding an
outlet through his association with Guilherme. The two teamed up to produce Amazon
Moon, with Guilherme performing and arranging the songs and assembling a
world-class ensemble of musicians. The results are enthralling, but not surprising, given
Guilherme’s peerless pedigree in Brazilian music.
Born in São Paulo, Guilherme was the grandson of an acclaimed Brazilian classical
pianist who early on recognized the lad’s pianistic gift. "He trained me in the
classics," recalls Guilherme, "but my heart took me elsewhere." Instead, he
turned to samba and bossa nova (the music of his homeland) and jazz. As early as 1970, he
was leading his own groups in São Paulo and Rio, playing with such Brazilian legends as
Edison Machado, Agostinho dos Santos, and Leny Andrade.
In the mid 70’s, Guilherme moved to New York, serving as musical director at
Cachca, the city’s only club specializing in Brazilian music. In 1980, he made his
solo album debut, and from then on, he became one of the most in-demand arrangers,
pianists, touring musicians, and headliners in the genre. Over the years, he has worked
with such artists as Djavan, Don Menza, Chico Buarque and Hugh Masekela, and has toured
with his own group, featuring as special guests such renowned artists as Ron Carter, Wayne
Shorter, Robertinho Silva, and Wallace Rooney. His musical career has taken him to many
nations throughout the world including Denmark, Italy, Spain, France and of course the
U.S. and Brazil.
He has continued to record as well, releasing five solo albums here and in Brazil. In
1995, he founded Brazil On Line Publishing, an internet site dedicated to the celebration
of Brazilian culture. His own Mangotree Music Productions serves as his home base from
which Guilherme oversees his varied musical endeavors.
"I’m a lucky man," says the artist. "I’ve been all over the
world, and everywhere I go, the response to Brazilian music is marvelous. The music never
lets me, or my audiences, down." As for his special relationship with his instrument,
his words are echoed in his extraordinary playing. "The piano is so wonderful,"
notes Guilherme. "There’s always something new to discover. If you treat her
right, the piano always gives something back."
As the artistry on Amazon Moon makes evident, one can safely say the same
about Guilherme Vergueiro himself.
Visit the Windham Hill website at http://www.windham.com

Lani Hall,
Brasil Nativo
Lani Hall first discovered her deep love for the exotic, indigenous rhythms and lilting
melodies of Brazilian Music in the late 60s and early 70s when she was lead singer with
Sergio Mendes & Brazil ’66. After years of subsequent success as a solo artist
(culminating with a Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Performance in 1986), she took a break
from the music business. Now, focused once more on her musical career, Hall is currently
re-exploring her earliest passions on her Windham Hill Jazz debut, Brasil Nativo,
which features fresh and unique arrangements of Brazilian songs, both classic and more
obscure, some sung in English, others in their native Portuguese.
Co-produced by Hall and husband/musician Herb Alpert, and co-arranged by Hall and
pianist/arranger Eddie del Barrio, Brasil Nativo is an intimate statement of
the way she hears and feels Brazilian music. For Hall, it also grew to be a richly
rewarding year and a half; researching the project and finding material was a true labor
of love.
"I am always looking to be inspired, and when I started listening to some of my
old Brazilian albums I felt the music waking up inside of me, moving and touching me on a
deeper level. With Herb’s encouragement, I nursed the idea along and realized that
this project would be about finding my own voice once again through this unique and
inspiring music.
"Once I had narrowed the selection down, arranging became a very personal
experience. Having the blank canvas of a song with so many possibilities, I had to dig
inside to find my interpretations without losing the integrity of the music. My intention
was to present these songs in a way that they’ve never been heard before. That’s
where Eddie del Barrio was so selfless. He urges me to go within myself and use his vast
knowledge to help interpret how I heard the songs live and breathe from a different
perspective."
Hall sang phonetically, in Portuguese, but two of the selections, the opening track,
"Três Curumins (Three Young Indians)" and the title song are sung in a native
Amazon Indian language. "Authenticity and emotion are very important to me," she
explains. "Singing and phrasing a translated English lyric can change the feeling and
intention of a song, and I find the sound of the Portuguese language very musical, earthy
and soulful. I know the meaning of the songs through English translations, but even if I
didn’t, the music and sound of the language transcend intellectual meaning for me and
shoot straight to the heart. Each song is like a flower opening up, exposing new color and
fragrance, strength and fragility."
Legendary Brazilian singer/songwriter Dori Caymmi was featured on the album as well as
being an integral part in the recording, contributing three songs, three vocals and
playing his acoustic guitar on eight out of eleven tracks. Hall says, "I have known
Dori since the late 60s and I had sung some of this material with Brazil ’66. His
music has always touched me and I wanted to include him in this album. He came to my home
and we played and sang together and it felt so natural and right. There is something about
the blend of our voices that just works."
Aside from Alpert’s trademark trumpet solos and Eddie del Barrio’s keyboards
and string arrangements, Brasil Nativo also features some of Los
Angeles’ top studio talent: bassists Jimmy Johnson, Nathan East and Chuck Domanico,
drummer Michael Shapiro (a later part of Mendes’ band), Heitor Pereira on additional
guitars and percussionist Paulinho Da Costa.
The rising rhythms behind Hall’s subtle yet urgent voice and Alpert’s wild,
driving trumpet solos on the opening track, "Três Curumins," describe the
important environmental theme of the song; Hall is singing to three Amazon Indian children
of a native tribe, telling them to leave their land before encroaching civilization
destroys their forests completely. After a wistful bossa nova duet with Dori singing in
English and Lani caressing in Portuguese on the Chaplin classic, "Smile," the
two engage their lush vocal harmonies over a driving baião rhythm on "Viola Fora De
Moda/Zanzibar," with Herb’s muted trumpet dancing on the end. Hall sings of the
haunting loneliness and pain of lost love in Portuguese and her own English lyric on
"Velho Piano," ("No Place to Hide"). Lani and Herb vocally and
musically play off one another on the hypnotic title track, "Brasil Nativo,"
co-written by Dori’s brother, Danilo Caymmi.
Hall paints the well known "Mas Que Nada" into an exotic blend whose
landscape is intensified by her primitive/sacred interpretation, jungle percussion, moody
orchestral underscoring and the relentless heartbeat of the track’s primitive drum.
Dori and Lani then blend seamlessly on the tender "História Antiga," followed
by the beautiful Ivan Lins song, "Saudades De Casa," ("Meant to Be"),
to which Hall wrote the romantic English lyric that is dedicated to Herb.
"Varadero" slips around on sustaining bossa nova rhythms as Alpert’s smokey
flugel horn weaves in and out of Lani’s sensuous vocal, sung in Portuguese and her
own English lyric. Closing the collection are the dramatic, prayer-like ballad "Amor
De Índio"- a powerful demonstration of Hall’s vast vocal range- and her deeply
poetic reading of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s classic, "Waters of March."
Lani was 19 years old, singing in an Old Town club on Wells Street in her native
Chicago when Sergio Mendes heard her and asked her to join his newly formed Brazil
’66 ensemble. "I’d been singing mostly folk rock and jazz," she
recalls. "When Stan Getz popularized Brazilian I became a huge fan. I remember the
first time I heard Sergio I said to myself, ‘Oh that’s the sound I love!"
When I joined the band, however, I had no clue that the music would vibrate in me so
deeply."
The band was auditioning for A&M Records in 1966 when Hall met the label’s
co-owner Herb Alpert. Brazil ’66 became the opening act for Alpert and his Tijuana
Brass and wound up recording seven albums for A&M with Hall as the lead singer—Herb
Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes & Brazil ’66 (1966); Equinox and Look Around
(1967); Fool on the Hill (1968); Ye Me Le (1969); Crystal Illusions (1970);
and Stillness (1971).
In the 70s Hall launched a solo career, performing her brand of pop/folk/jazz around
the world and releasing seven solo albums from 1972 (Sundown Lady) through 1982 (Albany
Park). Her Collectibles recording in 1983 featured the title song for the
popular James Bond movie Never Say Never Again, which marked the re-emergence of
Sean Connery as 007. Hall recorded her first solo Brazilian album A Brasileira in
1981 before a very fruitful period exploring Latin music and recording in Spanish with
Latin superstars Jose Jose, Jose Feliciano, Camilo Sesto and Roberto Carlos. Her mid-80s
output also led to her most notable industry achievements to date, a Grammy nomination for
1982’s Lani and a 1986 Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Performance (Es
Facil Amar).
A desire to leave the road, become a "normal" person, work on self-discovery
and to raise her and Alpert’s daughter led Hall to retire from active recording in
the mid-80s; during this period, however, she began writing fiction and learning about
video editing. She produced and edited a TV special, "The Very Best of Herb
Alpert," in the early 90s.
"Ultimately, it was the blend of primitive and classical influences in Brazilian
Music that led me back to recording," she says of her recent re-awakening. "To
me, the music is both holy and of the earth, lifting the spirit to a higher place yet at
the same time pulling you to its deeper roots. That juxtaposition thrill inspires me, and
that is what I wanted to capture. I started out wanting to be completely authentic but I
found that I couldn’t help but carve my own American musical sensibility into the
songs and arrangements while also feeling a sense of loyalty and devotion to the high
integrity of the music."
The previous generation of world music lovers will remember Lani Hall quite fondly and
welcome her return. Younger fans of the music will no doubt also be fascinated at a new
discovery, the way she approaches these songs, her phrasing and emotional shifts. Like the
music she loves so well and has taken such great care with, Brasil Nativo is
a timeless testament to the rhythm of love and life itself.
Visit the Windham Hill website at http://www.windham.com

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Brazzil

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Rough Guide to the Music of Brazil
João Gilberto
Paul Winter/Oscar Castro-Neves
Lani Hall
Guilherme Vergueiro

A Blend of
Black and
European
Sounds

The Rough Guide to the Music of Brazil (CD and cassette) explores many
contemporary popular styles of music which a traveler might come across while journeying
throughout the region. A unique blend, the roots of popular Brazilian music lie in the
rhythms of Africa combined with the melodies and harmonies of Europe.

The flutes and percussion of indigenous people are also heard. Many of the groups
featured on the Rough Guide to the Music of Brazil are well-known performers in Brazil and
overseas, like Ivan Lins and Marlui Miranda. This collection covers regional specialties
which are usually overlooked, as well as the more familiar bossa nova, samba and
MPB.

Muzenza from Bahia has been a pioneer in the preservation of black culture, and
contributes a rap-inspired interpretation of a song by Jorge Ben Jor. Adil Tiscatti, of
Rio de Janeiro, also pays homage to his black culture in a highly percussive track. Dinho
Nascimento develops new sounds on his electric berimbau, a stringed percussion
instrument which accompanies capoeira (a dance and martial arts practice).

Having spent 17 years researching the music of Brazil’s indigenous peoples, Marlui
Miranda has recreated music from a fishing festival of the Jaboti of Rondônia with the
percussive ensemble Uakti. The official interpreter of one of São Paulo’s oldest and most
traditional samba schools for the past twelve years, Thobias da Vai-Vai pushes out the samba-enredo
(Carnaval song) the way it was meant to be heard.

From the spirit of the Carnaval to soulful instrumentalists and soaring vocals, The Rough
Guide to the Music of Brazil celebrates the musical diversity of region, and acts as a
catalyst for further investigation.

Rough Guide Music CD’s are produced by the World Music Network in association with the
Rough Guide travel guide publishers. These mid-priced compilations are all available on CD
and cassette, and are distributed to music retailers in the USA by Distribution North
America. Starting April 22, 1998, World Music Network releases will also be distributed by
Penguin Books to the book stores stocking the nearly 150 Rough Guide travel book titles.

World Music Network is an international record label and information service for people
interested in music from around the world. Formed in 1994 to link those working in world
music with their audiences, the World Music Network produces a series of excellent
introductions to the different styles of music which span the globe. Full-color catalogs
highlight the best new music available from many top world music labels, and a regular
newsletter reviews CD’s and lists live music events. The Website http://www.worldmusic.net
features an extensive catalog and the latest releases.

Available May 5, 1998 (CD & cassette):

The Rough Guide to the Music of Brazil

The Rough Guide to Cajun & Zydeco

Coming June 9: African Blues

Other recordings available:

Rough Guide to the Music of North Africa

Rough Guide to the Music of South Africa

Rough Guide to West African Music

Rough Guide to the Music of Kenya & Tanzania

Rough Guide to the Music of Zimbabwe

Rough Guide to the Music of India & Pakistan

Rough Guide to Classic Jazz

Best of Latin America

Rough Guide to Reggae

Best of Africa

Rough Guide to World Music

One Voice: Vocal Music from Around the World

Rough Guide to Salsa

Rough Guide to Flamenco

Rough Guide to the Music of Cuba

Rough Guide to the Music of The Andes

Rough Guide to Irish Music

Rough Guide to Scottish Music

"Like the useful Rough Guide travel books and television shows, these discs delve
right into the heart and soul of the region they explore."
Rhythm Music Magazine

World Music Network, 6 Abbeville Mews, 88 Clapham Park Rd, London SW4 7BX
011-44-171-498-5252

http://www.worldmusic.net—  phil@worldmusic.net

Rough Guides/Penguin Books, 345 Hudson St 14 fl, New York, NY 10014

212-414-3635

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40 years of
bossa nova
joão gilberto – san francisco – june 26, 1998
john scott

the stage contains
a piano bench,
a bottle of water
(untouched all evening)
two microphones,
one for voice,
one for guitar,
and two stage monitors
zen simple sound system
the power here is hidden
producer expresses
sweet and heartfelt
gratitude for artist
and audience
coming together
she is mid-sentence
when joão gilberto,
transforming the
inevitable banality
of introduction
into shaman’s magic,
walks out of darkness
guitar in hand
into the spotlight where she stands
instantly the flame ignites, the wave hits,
surge of instant heart energy
lifting audience to its feet —
claps, cheers, whistles,
shouts of praise
minute after minute of
powerful applause
dressed in plain gray suit, black shoes, plain red
necktie, old and owlish horn rimmed
glasses set just below the ridge of his
nose and slightly asymmetrical,
sparse hair fringing a face that looks its 67 years,
you would guess this gentleman is a high school principal
he sits and begins to play a 1 – 1/2 hour set —
no introductions, no patter, no jokes,
nothing spoken to the audience,
simply playing and singing, song after song
the beginnings punctuated by
joyful clapping and expressions of
happy recognition from the audience
 
chega de saudade, desafinado, samba de uma nota só,
o pato, aos pés da cruz, rosa morena. corcovado, meditação,
vou te contar, pra que discutir com madame, garota de ipanema,
la vem a baiana…
these are not just songs
performed to their highest possibilities,
these are gems of lapidary perfection, a sampling
so permeated with spirit that this handful is
a hologram of his entire art — each small part
containing the whole, touched by the laser beam of mastery,
recreating an entire world of sound and silence
singer and guitar work in counterpoint
and counter-rhythm, voice-leading-voice,
unexpected shifts from inside to outside chords,
natural progressions given new grace
by subtle shifts, harmonic equivalents and odd voicings
that both amaze the ear and fit perfectly,
human voice singing its samba, guitar dancing its samba
the two becoming one thing perfectly woven
not once does he need to re-tune
so lightly does he touch the strings
this is the not-doing-of-doing
the voice is not smooth now,
the playing has a hesitant, casual quality
often ending songs informally with
one or two measures of chords strummed
on-the-beat, but in the songs
the jeitinho is still fully there
improvising horn parts
in real and syncopated time
 
his body scarcely moves, except the left foot
tapping rhythm while the left knee
swings side-to-side
as though both are necessary
to contain the subtle complexity
playing and singing sotto voce, looking down,
at the end of each song withdrawing
into himself, head down and to his left,
hint of a hidden and hesitant smile,
running his right hand slowly and anxiously
back and forth along the top of his right thigh,
only comfortable when playing,
the applause between songs
an unpreventable intrusion on the inner dance
 
um abraco no bonfá , the one instrumental,
simplified, fewer grace notes and less detail speed,
but compensated by a new complex inner/outer rhythm
absent from the original recording —
reminding us that the music is not in the notes and that
mastery has infinite dimensions and possibilities
early on, pops and clicks jump from
the sound system, and
those of us who know his history are paralyzed
with each harsh pop, fearful that he will get up and leave,
wordlessly terminating the performance,
for he has been known to do so with less provocation
instead, he expresses his dismay at this intrusion,
this affront to beauty, with a deeply pained look,
a fleeting almost imperceptible shaking of the head
a transitory palms up gesture of "what can i do?"
at one point between songs, there is a loud stab of feedback,
his eyes widen with shock, pained and hurt, and
for an instant his upper body pulls back,
startled, and he wordlessly raises his hands
toward to control booth at the back of the theatre,
as though to defend himself against the assault,
the blasphemy of defective electronic gear, which
has been jabbing its blade into his musical reverie,
violating his meditation, has now stabbed him
somehow helpless in the face of this offense,
he forbears and continues to perform, until
a young man walks onto the stage between songs,
whispers to him, then returns with a new microphone
amid scattered applause, a brasileira shouts "gracinha! "
voicing our relief and appreciation
joão gilberto smiles, and gesturing toward the young man
softly speaks the only words he will say all evening,
"he’s my son . . .", for an instant gently touching
the young man’s arm
after an hour, the lights dim at the end of songs,
and the maestro leaves the stage,
but is soon brought back by waves of insistent
and passionate applause
he continues to play for another twenty-five minutes,
ending several songs with a slight sideways,
supplicating gesture of his open right hand
as if to say, "this song has its own mystery . . .
i cannot tell you more . . . "
 
as he gets up to leave,
lifting the audience to its feet again,
applauding and cheering
louder than before,
a slender blonde woman in the front row
in a black dress and high heels
jumps onto the stage and runs fast to catch him
before he disappears
she touches his shoulder, he is startled,
she hands him a long white bouquet of
flowers that look like freesias
in the darkness at the edge of the curtains
our last image is the arm and delicate left hand of the maestro
embracing the back and shoulders of
this blonde girl of summer
and then he vanishes as instantly
as he had first appeared
the girl, beaming, overflowing, runs back to her
boyfriend in the front row, embracing and kissing him
 
the audience, on its feet,
applauds and cheers loudly
for fifteen minutes,
not from fevered excitement,
but from hearts aroused by
the quiet passion of this music
 
isto é bossa nova
isto é muito natural

 

john scott (c) 1998

pob 7234, santa monica 90406

t/ 310.459.5995 – f/310.459.6170

e/ jzzinho@aol.com

WINDHAM HILL JAZZ READIES TRIO OF BRAZILIAN RECORDINGS BY PAUL
WINTER/OSCAR CASTRO-NEVES, LANI HALL, AND GUILHERME VERGUEIRO PERFORMING THE MUSIC OF
HITMAKER MIKE STOLLER

Visit the Windham Hill website at http://www.windham.com

For Windham Hill Jazz, it’s the Rio thing, as the label is set to release three new
albums of Brazilian music performed by some of the world’s leading exponents of the genre.
The trio of albums are: Brazilian Days by soprano sax master Paul Winter and
guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves; Brazil Nativo from singer Lani Hall; and Amazon
Moon: The Music of Mike Stoller
, a collection of instrumental compositions by
legendary pop hitmaker as performed by pianist Guilherme Vergueiro. All three are due to
arrive in stores July 28.

Brazilian Days reteams two world-class musicians, two-time Grammy winner
Paul Winter and Oscar Castro-Neves. For more than thirty years, Winter has been admired as
a supreme jazz instrumentalist. His extensive body of recorded work with his own Paul
Winter Consort, as an accompanist, solo artist, and producer, is unparalleled. Oscar
Castro-Neves is a pioneer of the Bossa Nova sound of the late 50’s/early 60’s. Along with
such immortal Brazilian masters like Antonio Carlos Jobim, Castro-Neves helped export that
sound to the U.S. Winter and Castro-Neves collaborated many times before, as co-members of
the Consort, and on such recordings as Oscar (1986). Now, the two friends come together
again on Brazilian Days, a twelve-track collection of instrumental
performances for quartet (sax, guitar, drums, bass), including compositions by Jobim,
Carlos Lyra, Luiz Eça, Vinícius de Moraes, and other Brazilian masters. This is the
first new release in a long-term association between Windham Hill Jazz and Winter’s own
Living Music label, which includes the entire back catalog of Living Music.

The original voice of Sergio Mendes and Brazil ’66, Lani Hall was one of the first
singers to bridge the gap between Brazilian music and the American public in the 60’s. Brazil
Nativo
is Lani’s first recording in more than a decade, pairing her with her
husband, trumpeter Herb Alpert, on several tracks. The album also features

such acclaimed contemporary Brazilian musicians as Dori Caymmi, Eddie Del Barrio, and
percussionist Paulinho Da Costa. Singing in Portuguese and English, Lani performs eleven
beautiful ballads by such diverse composers as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Ivan Lins, Dori
Caymmi, and even Charlie Chaplin (in a lovely Portuguese rendition of Chaplin’s classic
"Smile"). Lani herself wrote English lyrics for two songs, "Meant to
be" and "Varadero."

One half of the legendary pop songwriting team of Leiber-Stoller (writers of such hits
as "Hound Dog," "Jailhouse Rock," and the Broadway smash "Smokey
Joe’s Café"), composer Mike Stoller is a life-long aficionado of Brazilian music. He
met pianist Guilherme Vergueiro at a popular L.A. nightclub several years ago and the two
became fast friends. On Amazon Moon, Vergueiro interprets ten Stoller
compositions along with a full band playing such traditional Brazilian instruments as the cavaquinho,
berimbau, caxixi. The album explores many popular Brazilian styles, including samba, surdo,
and bossa nova.

Windham Hill Jazz will launch the three albums together in an extensive campaign. Paul
Winter and Oscar Castro-Neves will appear together on tour this summer, including a
performance at the Hollywood Bowl in August and several joint appearances at Borders
Bookstores throughout the country. 

PAUL WINTER &
OSCAR CASTRO-NEVES
BRAZILIAN DAYS

It is a testament to the universality of Bossa Nova that Brazilian Days,
the new Living Music set from saxophonist Paul Winter and guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves,
began life in the loft of Winter’s rural Connecticut barn. It was there in the bright New
England spring that the two old friends and master musicians poured through a virtual
treasure trove of Bossa Nova classics, and began to shape the contours of what would
become their premiere duet album. The results are nothing less than a stunning rebirth of
one of the most influential popular music styles of the last fifty years.

Considering that Winter and Castro-Neves have been friends for more than thirty years,
and have collaborated on many prior projects, it’s a bit surprising that the two had never
recorded a duet album. "It’s been a long-standing dream of ours to do this,"
notes Winter. "Things really started to percolate when we were in Rio together for
the Earth Summit in 1992. We played a series of gigs then, and it was so gratifying, we
knew we simply had to make an album together." Castro-Neves later joined Winter at
his Connecticut home, where the two surveyed a definitive Bossa Nova collection compiled
by famed Brazilian Days music publisher Almir Chediak, jamming for several
days and working up arrangements of more than 150 incomparably beautiful songs.

"It was a lot of fun for me," recalls Castro-Neves of the experience.
"It was a way of looking back, of revisiting my past." As one of the true
pioneers of the Bossa Nova movement, Oscar speaks the truth. He was there in Rio de
Janeiro in the late 50’s when geniuses like Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao Gilberto first
blended the impressionistic harmonies of Ravel and Debussy with syncopated rhythms of
Brazilian music. Bossa Nova (Portuguese for "new touch") was born then, and it
changed the world of music forever. Winter and Castro-Neves took their time paring down
150 songs to a manageable number. In March of 1997, Paul and Oscar recorded demos of 50
favorites, and from there the final dozen were chosen. In September of last year, the pair
were joined in the studio by bassist Nilson Matta and drummer Paulo Braga, two seasoned
veterans of the Brazilian Days music scene both here and in Brazil. "It
was a natural match," says Oscar. "Both musically and personally, it was an
atmosphere of sharing." Adds Paul, "We wanted to be totally simple and totally
gentle in the original Bossa Nova tradition."

Paul then packed up the master tapes and took one of his heralded recording expeditions
to the Grand Canyon. He had previously recorded two albums in the pristine outdoor
environment of the canyon. "I had found a wonderful side canyon with amazing
acoustics in 1985," says Winter. "We called it Bach’s Canyon. Because I love how
it feels to play there, I wanted to do my sax parts for Brazilian Days there
too. We back-packed into the canyon in a pair of DA-88 8-track machines, solar power gear,
a mixing board, food and tents for a ten day stay. It was amazing to be this far from
civilization and to put on earphones and hear this exquisite Brazilian Days
music. I closed my eyes and was in heaven."

Most of the songs on Brazilian Days would likely be unfamiliar to North
American audiences, who may readily recall classics like "Girl From Ipanema" and
the theme from "Orpheus," but don’t know the bulk of Bossa Nova standards.
"We made no concession to commercialism," says Paul. "We didn’t do the
hits. We wanted to make an album with something of the same ingenuous attitude that Jobim
and Gilberto had when they recorded their first albums in the 50’s."

Some of Bossa Nova’s greatest composers are represented on the new album, Jobim, Carlos
Lyra, Noel Rosa, Vinícius de Moraes, Edu Lobo and Luiz Eça among them. Songs include
"Aula de Matemática," "Coisa Mais Linda," "Feitio de
Oração," "Feio Não É Bonito," "Minha Namorada," "Também
Quem Mandou," "Ana Luíza," "Feitiço da Vila," "Canto
Triste," "Imagem," "Por Causa de Você," and "Se É Tarde me
Perdoa." All are performed with characteristic grace and serenity, with understated
eroticism and playfulness. Though the only non-Brazilian Days in the
quartet, Winter had long ago earned the admiration of his colleagues. "Paul has been
living this music for a long while," says Oscar. "When you listen to the album,
and hear his phrasing, his spirit, you see how well he understands the music."

Winter was one of the first American jazz musicians to go to Brazil and encounter Bossa
Nova first hand. The Pennsylvania-born Winter began studying sax at age nine. At
Northwestern University, he majored in English while absorbing jazz in local Chicago
nightclubs. In 1961, he formed the Paul Winter Sextet, which was soon signed by Columbia
Records. The next year, the group became the first student jazz group ever sent abroad in
a U.S. State Department-sponsored tour. Destination: South America. In June of 1962,
following the Sextet’s concert in Rio de Janeiro, Paul met a young Brazilian
guitarist named Oscar Castro-Neves. The music of Brazil so enthralled Winter that he
returned in 1964 for a linger visit, spending most of a year living in the Ipanema section
of Rio and recording with Brazilian musicians.

A jazz aficionado since his early teens, Oscar too was swept up in the creative energy
typified by the advent of Jobim and Gilberto. He went on to become one of his nation’s
leading jazz guitarists/composers/arrangers. A move to the United States in the late 60’s
helped him broaden his audience. His old friend Paul Winter enlisted him to join the
increasingly popular Consort, which earned legions of fans of all generations thanks to
albums like Road and Icarus (which was produced by the Beatles’ George Martin, who
described it as "the finest album I’ve ever made").

In 1980 Winter founded Living Music, his own label and home base, which blended Paul’s
love of music and his passion for the natural environments of the earth. The label went on
to release albums by Winter, Castro-Neves (Oscar in 1986), Pete Seeger, and even some that
included non-human voices such as Songs of the Humpback Whale and Earth: Voices of a
Planet. For more than twenty years, the two-time Grammy-winner has been a tireless
crusader to bring music, as well as spiritual and environmental awareness, to a vast
audience, having played in more than 30 countries over the course of his career.

Oscar, meanwhile has enjoyed an equally successful career. He recently teamed with Yo
Yo Ma on the cellist’s chart-topping Tango album, and he served as producer/arranger for
Otmar Leibert’s best-selling album. He tours frequently, and, for the last six summers,
has been the mastermind behind the annual Brazilian Days music night at the
Hollywood Bowl. This summer, in fact, he and Paul will appear to perform music from Brazilian
Days
Days. Oscar also co-produced The Brasil Project and Chez Toots, the
most recent Toots Thielemans release on Windham Hill.

Even with their many diverse projects, both Paul and Oscar agree the time has come for
a resurgence of Bossa Nova. "It’s coming back, the same way the music of Parker,
Gillespie, and Coltrane is coming back," notes Castro-Neves. "For many people,
these are the roots of their musical world. Young people are looking for the
sources." Adds Paul, "In the 60’s, Bossa Nova was overcommercialized, and the
simple magic we knew in the beginning was lost. Other kinds of popular music took over.
The world was going too fast, and that quiet moment was trampled over. But this music is
as timely and vital now as it was then. It has stood the test of time." 

Visit the Windham Hill website at http://www.windham.com

GUILHERME VERGUEIRO, Amazon Moon

Americans are used to those intrepid individuals who have earned the label of
"bi-coastal." But that’s kid’s stuff for Brazilian
pianist/composer/arranger Guilherme Vergueiro: he’s "bi-hemispheric,"
dividing his time between Los Angeles and his hometown of Rio de Janeiro. While racking up
the frequent flier miles, Guilherme has done as much as anyone to spread the gospel of
Brazilian music. Now, with his new Windham Hill Jazz album Amazon Moon—a
set of Mike Stoller compositions arranged and interpreted by Guilherme—the pianist
bridges two worlds while creating a rich tableau of passionate music.

Stoller and Vergueiro met while the latter was headlining a Hollywood club. The two
formed a fast friendship, nurtured by their mutual love of Brazilian music. The writer of
countless classic pop songs from "Jailhouse Rock" to "Is That All There
Is?," Stoller had long harbored a passion for Brazilian music, finally finding an
outlet through his association with Guilherme. The two teamed up to produce Amazon
Moon
, with Guilherme performing and arranging the songs and assembling a
world-class ensemble of musicians. The results are enthralling, but not surprising, given
Guilherme’s peerless pedigree in Brazilian music.

Born in São Paulo, Guilherme was the grandson of an acclaimed Brazilian classical
pianist who early on recognized the lad’s pianistic gift. "He trained me in the
classics," recalls Guilherme, "but my heart took me elsewhere." Instead, he
turned to samba and bossa nova (the music of his homeland) and jazz. As early as 1970, he
was leading his own groups in São Paulo and Rio, playing with such Brazilian legends as
Edison Machado, Agostinho dos Santos, and Leny Andrade.

In the mid 70’s, Guilherme moved to New York, serving as musical director at
Cachca, the city’s only club specializing in Brazilian music. In 1980, he made his
solo album debut, and from then on, he became one of the most in-demand arrangers,
pianists, touring musicians, and headliners in the genre. Over the years, he has worked
with such artists as Djavan, Don Menza, Chico Buarque and Hugh Masekela, and has toured
with his own group, featuring as special guests such renowned artists as Ron Carter, Wayne
Shorter, Robertinho Silva, and Wallace Rooney. His musical career has taken him to many
nations throughout the world including Denmark, Italy, Spain, France and of course the
U.S. and Brazil.

He has continued to record as well, releasing five solo albums here and in Brazil. In
1995, he founded Brazil On Line Publishing, an internet site dedicated to the celebration
of Brazilian culture. His own Mangotree Music Productions serves as his home base from
which Guilherme oversees his varied musical endeavors.

"I’m a lucky man," says the artist. "I’ve been all over the
world, and everywhere I go, the response to Brazilian music is marvelous. The music never
lets me, or my audiences, down." As for his special relationship with his instrument,
his words are echoed in his extraordinary playing. "The piano is so wonderful,"
notes Guilherme. "There’s always something new to discover. If you treat her
right, the piano always gives something back."

As the artistry on Amazon Moon makes evident, one can safely say the same
about Guilherme Vergueiro himself.

Visit the Windham Hill website at http://www.windham.com

Lani Hall,
Brasil Nativo

Lani Hall first discovered her deep love for the exotic, indigenous rhythms and lilting
melodies of Brazilian Music in the late 60s and early 70s when she was lead singer with
Sergio Mendes & Brazil ’66. After years of subsequent success as a solo artist
(culminating with a Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Performance in 1986), she took a break
from the music business. Now, focused once more on her musical career, Hall is currently
re-exploring her earliest passions on her Windham Hill Jazz debut, Brasil Nativo,
which features fresh and unique arrangements of Brazilian songs, both classic and more
obscure, some sung in English, others in their native Portuguese.

Co-produced by Hall and husband/musician Herb Alpert, and co-arranged by Hall and
pianist/arranger Eddie del Barrio, Brasil Nativo is an intimate statement of
the way she hears and feels Brazilian music. For Hall, it also grew to be a richly
rewarding year and a half; researching the project and finding material was a true labor
of love.

"I am always looking to be inspired, and when I started listening to some of my
old Brazilian albums I felt the music waking up inside of me, moving and touching me on a
deeper level. With Herb’s encouragement, I nursed the idea along and realized that
this project would be about finding my own voice once again through this unique and
inspiring music.

"Once I had narrowed the selection down, arranging became a very personal
experience. Having the blank canvas of a song with so many possibilities, I had to dig
inside to find my interpretations without losing the integrity of the music. My intention
was to present these songs in a way that they’ve never been heard before. That’s
where Eddie del Barrio was so selfless. He urges me to go within myself and use his vast
knowledge to help interpret how I heard the songs live and breathe from a different
perspective."

Hall sang phonetically, in Portuguese, but two of the selections, the opening track,
"Três Curumins (Three Young Indians)" and the title song are sung in a native
Amazon Indian language. "Authenticity and emotion are very important to me," she
explains. "Singing and phrasing a translated English lyric can change the feeling and
intention of a song, and I find the sound of the Portuguese language very musical, earthy
and soulful. I know the meaning of the songs through English translations, but even if I
didn’t, the music and sound of the language transcend intellectual meaning for me and
shoot straight to the heart. Each song is like a flower opening up, exposing new color and
fragrance, strength and fragility."

Legendary Brazilian singer/songwriter Dori Caymmi was featured on the album as well as
being an integral part in the recording, contributing three songs, three vocals and
playing his acoustic guitar on eight out of eleven tracks. Hall says, "I have known
Dori since the late 60s and I had sung some of this material with Brazil ’66. His
music has always touched me and I wanted to include him in this album. He came to my home
and we played and sang together and it felt so natural and right. There is something about
the blend of our voices that just works."

Aside from Alpert’s trademark trumpet solos and Eddie del Barrio’s keyboards
and string arrangements, Brasil Nativo also features some of Los
Angeles’ top studio talent: bassists Jimmy Johnson, Nathan East and Chuck Domanico,
drummer Michael Shapiro (a later part of Mendes’ band), Heitor Pereira on additional
guitars and percussionist Paulinho Da Costa.

The rising rhythms behind Hall’s subtle yet urgent voice and Alpert’s wild,
driving trumpet solos on the opening track, "Três Curumins," describe the
important environmental theme of the song; Hall is singing to three Amazon Indian children
of a native tribe, telling them to leave their land before encroaching civilization
destroys their forests completely. After a wistful bossa nova duet with Dori singing in
English and Lani caressing in Portuguese on the Chaplin classic, "Smile," the
two engage their lush vocal harmonies over a driving baião rhythm on "Viola Fora De
Moda/Zanzibar," with Herb’s muted trumpet dancing on the end. Hall sings of the
haunting loneliness and pain of lost love in Portuguese and her own English lyric on
"Velho Piano," ("No Place to Hide"). Lani and Herb vocally and
musically play off one another on the hypnotic title track, "Brasil Nativo,"
co-written by Dori’s brother, Danilo Caymmi.

Hall paints the well known "Mas Que Nada" into an exotic blend whose
landscape is intensified by her primitive/sacred interpretation, jungle percussion, moody
orchestral underscoring and the relentless heartbeat of the track’s primitive drum.
Dori and Lani then blend seamlessly on the tender "História Antiga," followed
by the beautiful Ivan Lins song, "Saudades De Casa," ("Meant to Be"),
to which Hall wrote the romantic English lyric that is dedicated to Herb.
"Varadero" slips around on sustaining bossa nova rhythms as Alpert’s smokey
flugel horn weaves in and out of Lani’s sensuous vocal, sung in Portuguese and her
own English lyric. Closing the collection are the dramatic, prayer-like ballad "Amor
De Índio"- a powerful demonstration of Hall’s vast vocal range- and her deeply
poetic reading of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s classic, "Waters of March."

Lani was 19 years old, singing in an Old Town club on Wells Street in her native
Chicago when Sergio Mendes heard her and asked her to join his newly formed Brazil
’66 ensemble. "I’d been singing mostly folk rock and jazz," she
recalls. "When Stan Getz popularized Brazilian I became a huge fan. I remember the
first time I heard Sergio I said to myself, ‘Oh that’s the sound I love!"
When I joined the band, however, I had no clue that the music would vibrate in me so
deeply."

The band was auditioning for A&M Records in 1966 when Hall met the label’s
co-owner Herb Alpert. Brazil ’66 became the opening act for Alpert and his Tijuana
Brass and wound up recording seven albums for A&M with Hall as the lead singer—Herb
Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes & Brazil ’66 (1966); Equinox and Look Around
(1967); Fool on the Hill (1968); Ye Me Le (1969); Crystal Illusions (1970);
and Stillness (1971).

In the 70s Hall launched a solo career, performing her brand of pop/folk/jazz around
the world and releasing seven solo albums from 1972 (Sundown Lady) through 1982 (Albany
Park). Her Collectibles recording in 1983 featured the title song for the
popular James Bond movie Never Say Never Again, which marked the re-emergence of
Sean Connery as 007. Hall recorded her first solo Brazilian album A Brasileira in
1981 before a very fruitful period exploring Latin music and recording in Spanish with
Latin superstars Jose Jose, Jose Feliciano, Camilo Sesto and Roberto Carlos. Her mid-80s
output also led to her most notable industry achievements to date, a Grammy nomination for
1982’s Lani and a 1986 Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Performance (Es
Facil Amar).

A desire to leave the road, become a "normal" person, work on self-discovery
and to raise her and Alpert’s daughter led Hall to retire from active recording in
the mid-80s; during this period, however, she began writing fiction and learning about
video editing. She produced and edited a TV special, "The Very Best of Herb
Alpert," in the early 90s.

"Ultimately, it was the blend of primitive and classical influences in Brazilian
Music that led me back to recording," she says of her recent re-awakening. "To
me, the music is both holy and of the earth, lifting the spirit to a higher place yet at
the same time pulling you to its deeper roots. That juxtaposition thrill inspires me, and
that is what I wanted to capture. I started out wanting to be completely authentic but I
found that I couldn’t help but carve my own American musical sensibility into the
songs and arrangements while also feeling a sense of loyalty and devotion to the high
integrity of the music."

The previous generation of world music lovers will remember Lani Hall quite fondly and
welcome her return. Younger fans of the music will no doubt also be fascinated at a new
discovery, the way she approaches these songs, her phrasing and emotional shifts. Like the
music she loves so well and has taken such great care with, Brasil Nativo is
a timeless testament to the rhythm of love and life itself.

Visit the Windham Hill website at http://www.windham.com

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