quinta-feira, outubro 29, 2009

1100. Caetano Veloso - Omaggio A Federico E Giulietta (Ao vivo)

As a fan of Federico Fellini and Giulietta Masina, Veloso pays the biggest tribute with this live show of his and soundtrack classics... smooth, chilly and perfectly not still. Great.

8.3 out of 10

terça-feira, outubro 27, 2009

1099. Antônio Carlos Jobim - The Composer Of "Desafinado," Plays

Now this is a let down. Jobim single handedly plays along to his most famous tracks but the result is less than desirable... these classics take on a form of muzak making elevators more romantic but less sincere...

3.4 out of 10

1098. Stan Getz & João Gilberto - Getz/Gilberto

The cornerstone of bossa nova. This album created the genre and it has inspired almost every musician out there somehow. Gilberto is pretty amazing because he sounds like a mumbling Woody Allen but his mumbles are poetic and confident and sincere. Getz is breathing through his sax, whispering you the beauty that Gilberto is singing and along for the ride is a young Jobim adding a freshness that keeps this slowed down samba bubbling.

9.4 out of 10

segunda-feira, outubro 26, 2009

1097. Tom, Vinícius, Toquinho, Miúcha - Live

This album was recorded live at a club near my house that I would go to often. This is an incredibly special line up and moment containing four of Brazil's giants: Tom, the professor of Bossa Nova, Miúcha, the teacher's pet, Vinícius, the greatest poet and Toquinho his eager servant. Precious. My only complaint is that the disc is too short.

8.8 out of 10

sexta-feira, outubro 23, 2009

1096. Caetano E Chico Juntos E Ao Vivo - Caetano Veloso e Chico Buarque

Live albums can be hit or miss. I hate ones that are a collection of live tracks from different dates and venues. To me it should all be about documenting a moment of music, an event, an encounter. This combines two giants of brazilian music and they compliment each other so well. You might think the two would be quiet poets with their guitars but the two are clearly excited about playing together. My only complaint is the fact that the mastering is so shitty - the sound is actually distorted at certain parts where the tape was damaged.

8 out of 10

quinta-feira, outubro 22, 2009

1095. Jorge Ben Jor - Que Maravilha

I love Jorge Ben (he added Jor after his numerologist said he had an unlucky number of letters in his name). This is a greatest hits disc that my mom had on tape, and I have on CD and LP. Jorge Ben is easily my favorite artist from Brazil - he's a carioca like me and he sings about my favorite things: football, women and Rio. I'd give this a 10 out of 10 but that isn't fair since it's a greatest hits disc - plus they grabbed three of his best songs and turned them into a medley...

8 out of 10

1094. Daniela Mercury - O canto da cidade

This was Daniela's big cd. It's filled with more polished pop samba tunes, minimizing the gap between samba and pop music like it hadn't really been done before. Sure Bossa Nova took samba and slowed it down, made it quieter and brought the melodies upfront - but this is through and through samba with pop, and it's very much Bahia like, with its keyboards and sing along choruses. When I got here for college I arrived on a wednesday and my dad and his bitch wife dropped me off at my school on friday - college was still closed and I remember sitting down with my stereo and putting this on thinking 'what have I done' - it was, as I can best tell 15 years later, the beginning of my great unraveling. I am still waiting to reach the end.

7.3 out of 10

terça-feira, outubro 20, 2009

1093. Daniela Mercury - Daniela Mercury

So while in Rio before I moved to Florida I developed a liking for Daniela's music - it's samba influenced with a lot of pop cheese - this disc in particular is super cheese but it brings back a lot of memories. She also sounds like Ani DiFranco at times, mixed with a bad Floridian reggae band.

4 out of 10

segunda-feira, outubro 19, 2009

1092. Gypsy Kings - The best of the Gypsy Kings

Go ahead laugh your ass off. First off these guys were pretty popular in high school in Brazil - there was a strong 'gypsy' fever that broke out in the early 90s. Then when I came to the US for college I made some great buddies with my Ecuadorian cousins and this was in heavy rotation. Say what you want there are some great songs here that take me way back. Here's to the memories.

7.4 out of 10

sexta-feira, outubro 16, 2009

1091. Strunz y Farah - Americas

Wow, where was I? Ahh, drinking with my south american buddies! Strunz y Farah play acoustic spanish guitar just the way you'd imagine such guitar would be played and they do it VERY well. Problem is you don't want to hear it all the time...

6.4 out of 10

quinta-feira, outubro 15, 2009

1090. Rubén González - Introducing...Rubén González

A pretty amazing cuban artist. When I first started visiting Paddi she moved from the UWS to the UES and the one good thing about that neighborhood was the HMV on Lex and 86. I miss the mega music store. You could, and I did, spend hours in there. True to the old school format they had a jazz room that was sheltered from the J.LO that was playing through out the place. I wondered in there and this was playing - so great was this disc that I had to eventually pick it up through BMG (RIP). Anyway, this guy has such a command over the piano that it's effortless - his band sounds organic and super precise. You'll want a mojito and start dancing immediately.

8.2 out of 10

1089. Up, Bustle & Out - One Colour Just Reflects Another

One Colour Just Reflects Another is a latino/world/hip hop album - really ahead of its time. Stacey got this at Sound Splash when I dragged her there one day - she some how knew Matt's girlfriend and this was playing. I ultimately got it from her since it wasn't her thing. All instrumental and almost entirely funky it's good stuff if you are in the mood. Oh, and the label, Ninja Tune would become known as a major indie innovative hip hop label.

7.4 out of 10

quarta-feira, outubro 14, 2009

1088. Susana Baca - Eco De Sombras

Susana is on David Byrne's Luaka Bop label - a world music label that has a pretty impressive track record of releasing top notch records. Susana captures the elegance of classic spanish music and marries it with afro-latin arrangements that add a folky, haunting quality to her music. Good stuff.

6.9 out of 10

1087. Edith Piaf - The Very Best Of Edith Piaf

I must admit my exposure to Edith came in this wave: jeff buckley>a scene in saving private ryan>something else>la vie en rose film. This best of collection does take you back to an era of thick vinyl 45s where the grooves are worn down thin from so much playing. Piaf's role in music, both pop and classical is evident through this collection.

7 out of 10

NOW SERVING: Olha o mate, olha o limao

World music is a funny thing. I guess it all sounds the same according to some - as if only afro/latin beats can qualify as world music. Isn't all music world music? So here we'll check out a small number of international artists I have and a large number of my brazilian friends.

terça-feira, outubro 13, 2009

1086. Keb' Mo' - Slow Down

Keb' Mo' is blues for white people. Subjects are tame, lyrics easy and riffs mellow. I saw him with Paddi at an outdoor festival and he played by himself - he seemed charming enough to pick up the cd.

3.4 out of 10

segunda-feira, outubro 12, 2009

1085. Buddy Guy - Sweet Tea

This is one heavy, dirty, mean and scary blues album. The sounds are impecable. If this had come out in the 50s kids would have shot themselves. A classic.

9.2 out of 10

domingo, outubro 11, 2009

1084. B.B. King - Live in Cook County Jail

There's something about taping a live gig in a jail that adds a certain craziness to the whole environment. Johnny Cash's Folsom LP is a bizarre document - when the crowd cheers to the 'killing a man just to watch him die' your hair stands up up. On County Cook B.B. sings and plays his heart out almost with sympathy for the inmates making several pleas for the men not to beat n their women... it's a short set but a classic.

8 out of 10

quarta-feira, outubro 07, 2009

1083. B.B. King - Live At The Regal

My friend Yuri once said - 'you can always play the blues because everyone loves the blues' and he was talking about Robert Johnson blues, not B.B. But how can you not love B.B. King? When you think of the word blues he's what you hear. This live set is fresh and full of energy from a crowd that is ready to hear some blue.

7.4 out of 10