The Bossa Nova Sessions, Vol. 2

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This second volume in Deodato's Boss a Nova reissue series contains another pair of albums from 1964 and 1965, Tremendão and Ataque, featuring many of the same players Impulso! and Samba Nova Concepção reissued on volume one. Like its sister edition, the 24-bit remastered sound here is stellar; and of course it would because Deodato supervised and produced this himself. Among the composers found here are Luiz Bonfá, Marcos Valle, Haroldo Lobo-Niltinho, Carlos Pingarilho (who wrote beautiful liner notes), Rubens Soares, Baden Powell, and Deodato himself. In addition, there are a couple of fine contributions from Henry Mancini, as well: the "Champagne & Quail" section from the Pink Panther and "My Manne Shelly" (for jazz drummer Shelly Manne). These two pieces are key not so much because they are the finest pieces on the set -- far from it -- but because Deodato was under the spell of Mancini's orchestration and arrangement style -- (he was under Oliver Nelson's, too, but these tunes have more of a pop sensibility than the pair on volume one). Deodato was clearly experimenting with American pop music here in terms of texture and dynamic, but not incorporating it. Jazz is ever present, but the melodies and charts are all samba. The musicians on these sessions could play anything and include the legendary Dom Um Romao, Raul De Souza, Walter Rosa, Luiz Marinho, Jorge Arena, Rubens Bassini, Neco, and of course, Deodato holding down the piano and organ chairs. While it's difficult, and perhaps absurd, to try to select one or two tunes from this seamless set to showcase, the muted horn lines backing Deodato's organ on Powell's shimmering "Labreda," and the pulsing organs and horns on Marcos Valle's "Os Grilos," are worthy picks, as is the languid classic "Samba do Dom natural" by Pingarilho. Here, piano and organ stride alongside the horn lines as they articulate the backside of the melody and fill in the rest as the keyboards offer it harmonically, keeping the groove fluid and humid. Each of these albums is a masterpiece of samba, they reflect an adventurousness and sheer musicality that is rare, startling, and wonderful.

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