Amazing bossa nova from 60s Brazil – a limited box set that features five classic albums from the Elenco Records label, pressed up on very high quality vinyl!
Album #1 – the Vinicius & Odette Lara album from 1963 – a dream of a bossa session! The lovely Odette Lara sings vocals – and the music was written by Baden Powell and Vinicius De Morais, with arrangements by the great Moacir Santos. The sound is perfect Elenco bossa – with lightly lilting orchestrations that still have a lot of soul, and perfectly produced vocals drifting over the top. Titles include "Astronauta", "Berimbau", "Seja Feliz", "Samba Preludio", and "Alem Do Amor".
Album #2 – Nara Leao 1964 – Incredible early bossa material from one of Brazil's greatest singers! The record is lively, yet sophisticated – with strong arrangements by Gaya and Moacir Santos, and a vocal approach by Nana that really moves past the sweeter sound of other bossa singers – into a mode that's rich with feeling, without sounding too overwrought or overemotional – in sharp contrast to the style of Brazilian divas from a few years before. Includes a wonderful version of Santos' "Nana", plus the tracks "Cancao Da Terra", "Consolacao", "Maria Moita", and "Berimbau".
Album #3 – Caymmi Visita Tom – A landmark meeting of two Brazilian generations! The older singer/songwriter Dorival Caymmi meets up with Tom Jobim in this moody session of stripped-down tracks recorded in the famous Elenco style – and the result is a classic album that spans two generations of Brazilian music. Dorival brought along children Nana, Danilo, and Dori Caymmi to the session, and the backing includes percussion by Edison Machando – an guitar by Dori, and flute by Danilo. Tracks include "Sem Voce", "Berimbau", "Tristeza De Nos Dois", "Vae De Vez", and "Das Rosas".
Album #4 – Bossa Nova York – A rare early session from Sergio Mendes – one that was recorded in New York, during a pre-66 visit by his core trio – and augmented with guest horn work from Art Farmer, Phil Woods, and Hubert Laws! Antonio Carlos Jobim plays a bit of guitar on the album, and the set's a straighter set of jazz than you might expect – with Sergio grooving hard on piano, and throwing in some light bossa touches to tracks that include "Maria Moita", "Sambinha Bossa Nova", "The Dreamer", "Primavera", "Favela", and "Pau Brazil".
Album #5 – Vinicius & Caymmi No Zum Zum – An amazingly beautiful album, recorded by Vinicius De Moraes, Dorival Caymmi, Oscar Castro-Neves, and The Quarteto Em Cy for some sort of a special show. Castro-Neves provides some excellent bossa backing, the Quarteto girls sing chorus and over the top, Vinicius does some recitations, and Caymmi sings lead vocals. If the whole thing sound's a bit heavy-handed, it's not – and instead is an amazing batch of heavenly bossa-tinged tracks, with all the intelligence and imagination of the best titles on the Elenco label. The whole thing's extremely lively, and has an other-worldly sound that matches Vinicius' classic Afro Sambas LP with Baden Powell. Tracks include "Bom Dia Amigo", "Berimbau", "Historia De Pescadores", "Formosa", "Broto Maroto", and "Aruanda". ~ Dusty Groove