Monthly Archives: February 2004

My Reverie

I was very sad to hear that Alvino Rey has died. He was a superb bandleader, and made several incredible records, as well as playing on those of others, such as Esquivel. Lots of the work he is most admired for now is in what is now referred to as the ‘space age pop’ style: brassy, percussive, jerky pop music from the dawn of stereo. His (1961 or 1962?) Best of Alvino Rey on Dot is a superb album in this style, giving real longevity to arrangements that would otherwise be gimmicky and transient. However, the pick of his work for me is My Reverie on Decca, a stunning session of standards from the late 50s with haunting vocal work by the Jordanaires. It also has a superb cover, which I posted here a few weeks ago.

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I’m 30 years old today. Sitting in my office listening to the superbly distilled New Sound of Brazil, a 1965 album by Joao Donato with production by Claus Ogerman. Soon, I might start watching the DVD of Happiness, because I can.

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Although I’ve been being quiet, I’ve actually been listening to lots of music that I had never heard before. I have developed a mini-obsession with the Brazilian singer Claudia, an obsession that is pretty frustrating because of the generic nature of her name. It’s about as easy to find out information about her as it is for the Italian singer ‘Christy’. The good news in the case of Claudia however is that unlike Christy, she did put out several albums, including at least four in the years 1967 to 1972. I now own a couple of these (Voce and Deixa eu Dizer), and have heard one more that completely bowled me over (Jesus Christo). None of these other than Voce have been released on CD (and even the Voce CD seems to be impossible to get hold of), but they are all pretty superb, with a particular kind of jerky, brassy late-60s pop sound that seems to have been peculiar to Brazil in the late 60s and early 70s. Here‘s a little mp3 file (from Claudia’s ‘Frente Fria’) to illustrate the kind of sound I’m talking about.

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