Neil notes: This week’s CJ again featured guest Gary’s picks, leading off with Dave Holland and his quartet from a 1989 ECM release with Steve Coleman on alto.
This week’s show also included another track from Marcos Valle’s excellent Estatica album, released in 2010. Valle is the Renaissance man of Brazilian pop, a singer/songwriter/producer who straddled the country’s music world from the early days of the bossa nova craze well into the fusion-soaked sound of 80s MPB. His reputation may not be as great as his contemporaries like Caetano Veloso, Milton Nascimento or Gilberto Gil – but he is easily their equal and a pivotal figure in Brazilian music
Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1943, Valle studied classical music as a child but listened to many different types of music, especially jazz. He began writing songs with his brother in the early ’60s, and after the Tamba Trio found a hit with his Sonho de Maria, Valle was named Brazil’s Leading Composer of the Year at the age of 19. A recording contract soon followed, and in 1964 he released his first album, Samba Demais, for EMI Brazil. He toured with Sergio Mendes and in 1967 Warner Bros. released the instrumental album Braziliance! His Verve debut, Samba ’68, became a Brazilian classic thanks to simple, infectious pop songs like Batucada, Chup, Chup, I Got Away, and Crickets Sing for Anamaria, all of which featured harmony vocals by his wife Anamaria.
With albums like the superb 1971 classic Garra (now re-released on an excellent 180g vinyl reissue from Light in the Attic Records), Valle moved away from native Brazilian forms like the bossa nova and samba and into a rock-influenced sound that played up groove-heavy bass and smooth funk even while courting his amazing melodic sense. He continued recording for EMI until he moved to America in 1975 where he wrote and arranged tracks for Eumir Deodato, Airto Moreira and and American jazzrock group Chicago. He also recorded with Sarah Vaughan – track down a great duet on a bossa version of George Harrison’s Something.
- Dave Holland Quartet – Nemesis from Extension
- Joshua Redman – One Shining Soul from Freedom in the Groove
- Marcos Valle – Arranca Toca from Estatica
- Bebel Gilberto – Sam Contenceo from Tanto Tempo
- Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Flipside/Marcus Garvey from Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
- Morcheeba – Friction from Big Calm
- Freddie Hubbard – Backlash from Backlash
- Joe Henderson – Beatrice from An Evening with Joe Henderson, Charlie Haden, Al Foster
- Dave Mackay and Vicki Hamilton – Blues for Hari from The Look of Love
- Fat Freddy’s Drop – This Room from Based on a True Story
- Ramsey Lewis Trio – Function at the Junction/Lonely Avenue from Greatest Hits
- Roy Budd – Theme from Get Carter from Get Carter OST
- John Coltrane – Blue Train from Blue Train
Later this month, CJ will be celebrating the 80th birthday of the peerless Wayne Shorter who is still cutting it live and on record. His latest release Without a Net has been featured on the show, and his last London appearances with his sensational quartet were powerful reminders of his improvisatory genius.
To catch Shorter just a few days ago live at this year’s Newport Jazz festival, CJ listeners should check out NPR Music’s website.