Wayne Shorter: Black Orpheus (Take 4)

This early Freddie Hubbard solo really impacted me. What was interesting about it (and about the whole album for that matter) was that the record company must have ‘prompted’ Wayne Shorter to keep the tracks short (they average around 4:00 each), but every solo is a compact gem. In particular, Freddie’s fluidity and time grab you, yet he’s relaxed and you can tell he’s holding way back because he knows he has only one chorus. Still, the way he built that chorus really impressed me—as did everyone with their short solos on this record. Classic, understated, concise, but meaty solos from everyone involved; a real lesson in brevity. Elsewhere on the album, there are great early Wayne Shorter tunes and arrangements. Take your pick! And check out Freddie on "Powder Keg." Ouch! Burning.

April 11, 2008 · 0 comments


John McLaughlin: Manha De Carnaval

McLaughlin has been playing the Brazilian standard "Manha De Carnaval," sometimes called "Black Orpheus" because of the movie it came from, since at least 1980 when he performed it in trio with Larry Coryell and Paco De Lucia. This is a duet with Al Di Meola. John is the stronger lyrical player even though you would tend to think any Latin music would be more of Di Meola's bailiwick. The tune's sad but optimistic melody is the perfect canvas for McLaughlin to paint washes of nuance.

January 26, 2008 · 0 comments


Luiz Bonfá: Manhã De Carnaval

Another recording whose popularity begat a resurgence of public interest in Latin American music, “Manhã De Carnaval ,” the theme song from the movie Orfeu Negro (Black Orpheus), helped pave the way for bossa nova to take flight with the American public. This composition, sometimes known in English as "A Day in the Life of a Fool," has become part of the jazz canon, having been recorded countless times; however, this is the track in its original form. Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luiz Bonfá co-wrote the score for the film, which is a retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice tale from Greek mythology. The movie’s award-winning success and widespread popularity ignited the careers of the composers in America and worldwide.

October 24, 2007 · 0 comments


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