This is Listen ∞ An email of eclectic music for curious ears. Here is today’s recommendation.
"Pelas Sombras" by Arthur Verocai
While much of [Arthur Verocai’s work in the late 1960s] brought him national acclaim [in Brazil], it was his work with the singer Celia which afforded him the opportunity to produce his own record on his own terms.
“I also produced two albums by a singer named Célia for Continental,” recalls Verocai. “The president of the company was delighted with the results. He invited me to produce an album using my own compositions and I agreed as long as I was able to choose the musicians to perform with me.” The musicians in question were some of the greatest talent Brazil had to offer. Among the session players on Arthur’s LP were Nivaldo Ornelas (of Milton Mascimento’s band), Toninho Horta, Robertinho Silva, Edson Maciel and Oberdan Magalhaes of Black Banda Rio.
Recorded at Studio Somil, Rio De Janeiro in 1972, the album was entirely produced, arranged, directed by Arthur Verocai himself. It’s hard to categorize such unique music without sounding conceited. There are elements of funk, jazz solos, touches of folk, a mix of acoustic and electronic sounds…all backed up by a 20 piece string orchestra. It’s a complex mix of elements, but Arthur Verocai’s gift for arrangement, not to mention the calibre of musicians involved, make for an entirely cohesive experience.
“I used to listen to Blood Sweat and Tears, Chicago, Stan Kenton, West Montgomery, Jimmy Web, Frank Zappa, Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans and Miles Davis, Milton Nascimento, Bossa Nova, amongst others,” explains Verocai. “In Brazil we had many musical influences, and by that there wasn’t a hegemonic one in the market. In this way my album reflected a search and musical experimentation. I was in an adventurous mood on this album and that led me to explore new melodic, harmonic and rhythmic paths.”
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