Arthur Verocai is a genius, one of the finest’ Quantic
’I could listen to (the Arthur Verocai) album everyday for the rest of my life’ Madlib
‘When I listen to Arthur's music it makes me glad to feel alive. It doesn't get any better than this’ Mark Pritchard/ Troubleman
‘Encore’ is the new studio album from Arthur Verocai, a multi talented Brazilian guitar player, composer and arranger, considered by many as Brazil’s answer to David Axelrod & Charles Stepney.
Featuring 11 new compositions from Arthur with guest musicians including Azymuth, Ivan Lins and a nine-piece string section, ‘Encore’ is the highly anticipated follow up to Arthur’s eponymous debut album from 1972 (!). It sees Arthur joining the dots over 35 years to create a new classic of Brazilian music that, like his debut, combines Brazilian influences with his take on American soul and cinematic experimentation, and shows Arthur’s sound is as poignant now as it was in the 70s.
Following on from Marcos Valle, Joyce and of course Azymuth, Arthur Verocai is the latest in a long-line of Brazilian musicians whose music is set to be introduced to a whole new legion of fans by Far Out. The story of ‘Encore’ of course begins with Joe Davis, Far Out’s head honcho who stumbled upon Arthur’s debut in a dusty record store in downtown Rio in the late 80s. At the time of its release in 1972 critics panned Arthur’s debut and both the album and artist subsequently vanished into obscurity. Fast forward to winter 2004 and Joe’s at the studio of Far Out Recording artists Harmonic 33 – aka production duo Mark ‘Troubleman’ Pritchard and Dave Brinkworth – playing them some of his favourite Brazilian albums. Dave recalls the moment Joe put on Arthur’s debut, “As soon as the needle hit the record and we heard the fantastic arrangements, songs and sounds, Arthur completely blew our minds”.
Three months later and Dave was in Brazil with Arthur Verocai, and the plans for what was to become ‘Encore’ were being laid down. Produced by Dave, ‘Encore’ sees Arthur on incredible form, the 35 plus years between the recording of his debut and this the follow-up just melting away as Arthur picks up the (conductor’s) baton once again to create 11 epic tracks of stirring samba-soul and experimental cinematic movements that sees him creating a record to rival his debut.
Opening track ‘Tupa Tupi’ kicks proceedings off in suitable widescreen style as a trio of male vocalists ride over soaring strings and warm horns. ‘Amor Na Contra Mao’, is a perky bossa whilst tracks three and four, ‘Sucuri’ and ‘Abertura’ respectively, hark back to the experimental nature of Arthur’s acclaimed debut CD; ‘Sucuri’ features some abstract Rhodes playing from Azymuth’s Bertrami whilst ‘Abertura’ is a beautiful string-led interlude. Things then get spiced up with ‘Bis’, a clubby-Brazilian-samba that was a big radio hit earlier this year. The rest of the album doesn’t disappoint with experimental-cinematic instrumental and vocal pieces such as ‘Donas Das Meninas’ and ‘Filhas’, the latter featuring the celebrated Ivan Lins on vocals, appearing between more classic US soul and funk influenced grooves such as ‘Tudo De Bom’ and ‘Eu Quero Paz’, to create a modern interpretation of late 60s/70s classic ‘cinematic’ samba that will appeal to fans of Marcos Valle and Azymuth.
Born in Rio de Janeiro on 17 June 1945, Arthur Verocai began his professional music career in 1969 and over the next few years he was responsible for the orchestration of albums by Ivan Lins, Jorge Benjor, Elizeth Cardoso, Gal Costa, Quarteto em Cy, MPB 4 and Marcos Valle, among others. In the 1970s he was hired by Brazil’s biggest TV station, TV Globo, as musical director and wrote the arrangements for many of the stations biggest shows. In 1972, following the success Arthur had with the production of Ivan Lins 1971 album "Agora", Arthur recorded his self-titled debut album on Continental Records. ‘Arthur Verocai’ challenged the musical conventions of the day, combining Brazilian influences with folksy soul and lo-fi electronic experimentations of American artists like Shuggie Otis or the orchestration of producer Charles Stepney.