Latin cover of a Herbie Hancock tune. But the casual listener might not notice the modulations and harmonic changes that give a fresh spin to a familiar song. Sanchez lays down a very crisp groove, and the song is ready for airplay straight out of the case. Are there still jazz stations out there looking for hip new songs to play? I'm not sure, but I won't bet against an artist who has always succeeded against the odds.
"San Vincente," from the 1989 Mlitons CD resulted in a standout track in the career of both artists. Here Nascimento covers a Hancock jazz standard, the hard bop classic "Cantaloupe Island," and invites the composer and Pat Metheny to join him in the studio. Metheny is very comfortable in this settingâ€”indeed the "even eights" sound of Nascimento's Clube da Esquina era recordings exerted a noticeable influence on Pat's own work. Hancock lays back at first, but before the second chorus arrives, he is driving the rhythm. He digs into his personal Blue-Note-meets-Brazil bag that I have heard him use in these types of situations; it is very effective. Even without a drummer, there is hardly enough room for Metheny, but he floats and flutters, and when his solo comes, he digs in with a very earthy improvisation. Nascimento needs no lyrics to express his soulfulnessâ€”this track will show how much Mr. McFerrin learned from the Brazilian master. Milton's voice is angelic and devilish at the same time. This song has inspired some hot renditions, including Hancock's simmering original and Us3's manipulation of the same. But Nascimento has added another must-hear version to the list.
Cantaloupe Island" and ended up with one of the biggest hits of the '90s. Along with Powell's raps, this song eventually went gold and ended up being one of the strongest selling Blue Note albums ever. Lifted straight from Hancock's record, the feel of his 1960s original was transplanted to dance floors all across the world through this song.
"The Sidewinder," Art Blakey's "Moanin'" and Hancock's own previous entry in the slam-funk competition, "Watermelon Man." The largely static harmonies impart a slight modal tinge to the composition, creating a spacey-futuristic groove that still sounds modernistic today. Hancock's piano vamp drives the band, and Hubbard contributes one of his most memorable solos. Forget about Gilligan's or Crusoe's boring beachfront property . . . the nightlife is better on "Cantaloupe Island."
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