Monday, February 25, 2008

Luiz Simas - Cafuné

The lyrics for these

1 - Cabelos Brancos
2 - Se o Papa Dissesse
3 - Sambinha do Chinês
4 - Meu Rio
5 - A Chama
6 - A Rede, a Brisa e o Som do Mar
7 - Normal
8 - Panelas
9 - A Revolta dos Mares
10 - Cafuné
11 - Sorvete Colorê
12 - Sempre Assim
13 - Apareci por Aqui

are in Portuguese, all written and songs arranged by pianist/vocalist Luiz Simas. At times, he is Latin, other times he's distinctly off-Broadway, as in the soft and beautiful "A Rede, a Brisa e o Som do Mar," an introspective piano-voice piece that stands out from others since many times he has the Bossa Nova sway working. None too fast, none too loud.

I love the abnormally sparse and playful "Normal" that begins with a simple acoustic guitar, soon showcasing Luiz's vocal gymnastics of rushing through some phrases which don't make you think for a moment of rap. Nothing aggressive here. Or on the whole CD.

Personally, perhaps my favorite track is the smooth jazz instrumental, "A Revolta dos Mares" because it's exactly the kind of music I prefer listening to while I work (which is nearly all the time) at the computer. Sax, soft piano riff, the bare elements of mood that can make it to the soundtrack to Whatever you're doing. Sex, politics, writing fiction. Fits anything. Snuggly, relaxingly.

I recommend this cd for its variety, for its talent.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Eric Byrd Trio +4 - Brother Ray


Eric Byrd - acoustic piano, vocal
Bhagwan Khalsa - acoustic bass
Alphonso Young, Jr. - drums

are playing

Let the Good Times Roll
Them That Got
Come Rain or Come Shine
I've Got News for You
Get on the Right Track Baby
Baby It's Cold Outside
Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying
I Want a Little Girl
Watch Them Dogs
Baby Won't You Please Come Home
You Don't Know Me

Now, by the amount of babys here, you might think it's a blues album. That's just half the fact, jack. It's showcasing a slow grooving jazz combo, helped sometimes by that +4 of horns. Beautiful stuff. "I've Got News for You" is the best of the blues, with Eric stamping the keys in that limbo between raunchy and subtle jazz.

But my personal favorite is the classic "Come Rain or Come Shine." Some people believe that you can't mar certain songs. There are no foolproof songs. And when Eric applies his quiet, old-style jazz to this favorite, you'll never hear better.

Very, very solid jazz album. The only track I didn't like was "Watch Them Dogs." And even though I got almost sick of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" a few months ago at Christmas, Eric and guest vocalist Lea Gilmore have renewed my faith in this loverly-worded duet (and you have to see the movie it came from; perfect comedy performance in this song).

Highly recommended cd for the boogie jazz among you.