The Bossa Nova Sessions, Vol. 1

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This wonderfully remastered compilation produced jointly by Deodato and Arnaldo DeSouteiro contains two of the finest, sunniest, most innovative bossa nova records ever made, Samba Nova Concepção from 1964 and Impulso! from 1965. Far from the breezy, light, and spare recordings of Astrud and João Gilberto or the stark skeletal bossa jazz sets recorded by Charlie Byrd and Stan Getz, the music found here is full and rich, brimming with horns, Hammond organ, and multivalent percussion and all drenched in jazz and pop sensibilities via the storehouse of knowledge that is Eumir Deodato's swinging musical mind. What is so immediate and gripping about these recordings is that Deodato was only 21 in 1964, and his charts have the sophistication and musicality of a cat like Oliver Nelson, or Henry Mancini. It's also true that Lalo Schifrin's mark of influence is here as well. The players on these dates include Jorge Arena, Dom Um Romao (who wrote a great set of liner notes for this issue), Wilson DasNeves, Luiz Marinho, Rubens Bassini, Alberto Gonçalves, Emilio Baptista, Jorge Ferreira da Silva, Daudeth de Azevedo, and more. Singling out individual tracks on these two albums is ridiculous because the groove quotient is so high and so utterly consistent, but it is worthy to note who some of the composers were, from Marcos Valle and Jorge Ben to João Donato and Baden Powell, from Don Elliott to Durval Ferreira and of course Tom Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes. Ultimately, this is bossa nova as most American audiences have never encountered it, full of bright textures, tasty and muscular rhythms, gorgeous melodies, and horn sections that would have been assembled in heaven if Deodato hadn't done it first. Suffice to say, if you haven't heard this album you haven't heard the true joyous South American sounds of bossa and samba.

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