Warm, sunny, jazzy and wonderful - the latest effort from CLUB BRASIL and a swirling bit of new Brazilian beats that's steeped in classic 70's fusion touches!
The project is similar to this labels' Sangue Latino sets but features Tomas Improta, the legendary Brazilian Pianist for Caetano Veloso, world famous percussionist Robertinho Silva and some of the most famous musicians from Brazil's music scene during the past 30 years.
This all-star line-up remake some of the best remembered grooves from the Rio scene of the 60's and 70's mixing together light electric and acoustic sounds to give the tunes a whole new lease of life.
Supporting the project with female vocals in both English and Portuguese are titles such as 'Take it easy my brother Charles', 'Te Caliente', 'Sei La' and Crickets Sing For Ana Maria' by Mariana Feo, 'Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing' by Victoria BeeBee and 'Tereza Guerreira' and 'Cravo e Canela' by Valeria Lobao.
A groovy slice of 'Cool Ipanema' - this album is sure to take the latin dance floors of the world by storm!
Club Brasil project manager Mitch Mitchell adopted a new approach for his latest album 'The Ipanema Set Volume One' (Part 2 of this wonderful taste of summer is due out in September 2004). He travelled to Rio De Janeiro to work with the highly esteemed producer and musician Tomas Improta and a team of session musicians to record this eleven track album.
Their previous outings (Sangue Latino volumes 1 to 3) have always ouzed this fresh South American flavour but the inclusion of native 'Cariocas' adds the 'X Factor' which makes this the most appealing and accessible offering to date.
Mitch has used a fine balance of instrumentation with Tomas Improta on keys, brother Gabriel on guitar, flautist Andrea Ernst Dias, Jesse do Nascimento on horns and a hot rhythm section which includes the much in demand Robertinho Silva on percussion, Alberto Continentino on bass and drummer Jurim Moreira.
Vocal duties on The Ipanema Set Volume One are shared by two Brazilian natives, Valeria Lobao and Mariana Feo with English born Victoria BeeBee adding her charisma on Stevie Wonder's classic 'Don't You Worry About A Thing' which has an exceptional arrangement with reharmonised vocals by Vikki. Watch out for the beautiful trumpet solo from Jesse do Nascimento.
The first thing the listener notices on first hearing is the feast of different Latin styles which are included on the album including the well known bossa classic from Tom Jobim's pen, 'Waters Of March' sung exquisitely in English by Mariana Feo and a delightful cover of Milton Nasciemento's 'Cravo E Canela' sung by Valeria Labao.
Mitch and Tomas have concocted quite a Latin cocktail on The Ipanema Set with bossa nova, samba, MPB ( Musica Popular Brasileira ) Forro, Frevos, Choro and even a touch of 'Axé', that fascinating blend of reggae and samba which features on 'Tago Mago' sung once again by the lovely Valeria Labao.
The album offers instant dance appeal with immediately identifiable tracks such as Jorge Ben's 'Take It Easy My Brother Charles' which is a rhythmic synergy of Brazil meets the West and synonymous with the great Carmen Miranda who was one of the forerunners of Brazilians who captured the attention of the American market back in the forties long before bossa nova had been popular.
'Crickets Sing For Ana Maria' is yet another delightful track written by Marcos Valle and is so atypical of the samba beat at 'Carnaval in Rio', that four day extravaganza each February before Lent when hundreds of thousands of Cariocas and visitors take to the streets with the pounding samba percussion which offers that spontaneity that is truly infectious.
The mid tempo ballad 'Sei La' sung by Mariana Feo is a free flowing bossa with simple but melodic instrumentation which offers a panopoly of articulations which compliment the vocal purity perfectly.
The uptempo 'Te Caliente' is a scat in the George Duke 'Brazilian Sugar' mould with a driving power horn section which reminds me of those great Tower Of Power and Seawind Horn sections. This is a track for the dancefloors and one which will energise even the most redundant of retired dancing feet.
Once again the Club Brasil project moves into the twenty-first century with a delivery which has been enhanced by the authenticity of using local musicians who have this innate talent and sense of rhythm which is so evident on another great album.
Wes Gillespie - EuroClubdeJazz.com