Ensemble Novo at The Franklin Flea 11/30
We’re pleased to return to The Franklin Flea on Saturday November 30th where we’ll play from 12pm-4pm.
More on The Franklin Flea here.
Hope to see you there.
Here’s what you missed last month at TM’s Love Room — our version of the classic “Berimbau!”
We return to Time this Wednesday, November 20, from 9 pm -1 am. NO COVER! GREAT WHISKEY SELECTIONS!!!! CHILL MUSIC!!!!
Here is short playlist of inspirations. In putting together the arrangements on Blue Night, we started with the beloved hit versions of these tunes, and then sought out more unusual treatments. The list, which includes a few tunes that we play regularly but didn’t include on the album, represents some of our favorites. More below and of course enjoy!
“Berimbau:” Baden Powell Vontade (1963). One of several sparkling versions by composer Powell, this one is notable for its hyper-syncopated guitar rhythm patterns.
“Samba de Orfeu:” Luis Bonfa: Solo in Rio 1959 (1959). One of a dozen captivating treatments of this “national anthem,” this features the crisp guitar work of the composer. Just about everyone who has covered the tune has studied this version.
“Wind”: Airto: Seeds on the Ground (1971). Though there are a few other interpretations of this intensely beautiful Hermeto Pascoal composition, this one, from an early US-market release by percussionist Airto, is the most luminous. The album is stunning top to bottom, and features a handful of other criminally under-recorded Pascoal classics.
“Tristeza”: Elis Regina: Como & Porque Plus 4. (1969). Included on the expanded Japanese version of Como & Porque (and several subsequent boxed sets), this live “Tristeza” catches Elis Regina in a loose, improvisational and almost reckless mood. It’s not the most polished version, but her rueful laughter and swooping, veering-off-the-road lines catches the bittersweet essence of the tune.
“Andorinha”: Antonio Carlos Jobim: Stone Flower (1970). This ballad, part of a suite of brilliant post-breakthrough Jobim tunes, is rendered with perfect restraint on this definitive recording. Note the languid grace of the descending chromatic melody, and the composer’s warm, deliciously calm electric piano. Pure audio sweetness.
“Pr’um Samba”: Egberto Gismonti: Egberto Gismonti (1969). Before establishing himself as a singularly inquisitive composer and ECM recording artist, Egberto Gismonti wrote a few enduring pop songs that weave elements of bossa nova, samba and MPB. This, his recording debut, contains a sparkling “Pr’um Samba” as well as a beautiful meditation on his more-often-covered “O Sonho.”
“Nuvem Cigana”: Milton Nascimento: Clube de Esquina (1972). There may be other versions of this tune, but this is “the one,” from one of the most transcendently beautiful pop albums of all time.
“Boranda”: Edu Lobo and Maria Bethania (1966). From one in a series of amazing duet albums pairing Brazilian singers, this Edu Lobo classic about water shortages and environmental destruction has been covered frequently. Among the most inspired versions is the high-octane salsa one, from Puerto Rican powerhouse Sonera Poncena.
“O Sol Nascera”: Cartola (1974). Composer, guitarist and vocalist Cartola was perhaps the most influential early songwriter of samba; just about every prominent Brazilian singer has interpreted at least one of his songs. This one is notable for its stone-simple melody and electrifying groove.
Some other underloved or little-heard tunes we like to play:
“E Luxo So” and “Morena Boca de Oro” from Joao Gilberto’s austere masterpiece Chega de Saudade.
“Morena do Mar”: Nara Leao’s plaintive version of this Dorival Caymmi seafaring classic.
“Quem Te Viu, Quem Te Ve”: An early Chico Buarque gem, as covered by Nara Leao.
“Inutil Paisagem”: Spellbinding ballad from the legendary Elis & Tom.
Our friends at Dusty Groove in Chicago offered up this very thoughtful write up about Blue Night - “The sound’s wonderfully stripped-down, and recorded in a very basic style – so that there’s none of the too-smooth feelings you’d get from other contemporary bossa outings – which leaves a really nice sense of personality and expression from the instruments.” More on what they say and how to purchase the album from Dusty Groove here.
Thanks to the weather we’ve been experiencing lately, we couldn’t think of a better time to play the very cool Pop-Up Garden space at 313 South Broad Street between Spruce and Pine Streets that the lovely folks at PA Horticultural Society (PHS) built. Come by and enjoy what we do from 12pm-2pm on Friday, September 20th. More here.