22 May 2006
EDU LOBO - SERGIO MENDES PRESENTS LOBO
The gifted Edu Lobo was already a singer and prolific composer when he came to California from his native Rio de Janeiro in the late 1960s, having written for theater and films as well as making records. Lobo was in the vanguard of tropicalia, or MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira) which sought to avoid the clichés of pop music. In the wake of Brazil’s military coup of the mid-1960s, which clamped down on creative and political expression, the musically sophisticated Lobo tackled social problems with charming musical élan.
Tropicalia faded after a few years, but Edu Lobo continued his brilliant career. This album, his North American debut, was lavishly produced and orchestrated by Sergio Mendes, the founder of Brasil ’66, with help from Hermeto Pascoal, whose composition "Sharp Tongue" is included. He is supported by the Brasil ’66 rhythm section, including Airto Moreira on percussion, Pascoal on piano and Claudio Slon on drums, augmented by other rhythm players as well as string and wind sections.
But it is Edu Lobo as composer, conductor, co-arranger and orchestrator, and low-keyed vocalist in the Jobim manner who has, and deserves, the spotlight. It is his seven first-rate originals that are standouts: "Ponteio", "Jangada", "Casa Forte", and most notably "Crystal Illusions" and the sweetly melancholic "To Say Goodbye" were to take their place in the modern Brazilian repertoire of standards