LUIZ BONFA - JACARANDA
Luis Bonfa arranged and conducted by Deodato for Som Livre Brazil in 1973.
Just read this rave review from Thom Jurek (as he put's it :It's so fine it's hardly even believable)and you'll understand why this one gets the Highly Recommended stamp from Orgy In Rhythm-simply superb !
After the initial shockwaves of Miles Davis' seminal fusion recordings began to settle, jazz rock fusion began to become a genre unto itself. What Miles had created as a way of opening both the disciplines up to one another -- in the same manner that bossa nova and rhythm and blues did in the 1960s -- created a slew of musical possibilities before fusion closed in on itself in the later 1970s and became its own restrictive genre, full of sterile, workmanlike chops, and endlessly repetitive rhythmic constructs. But perhaps no one, not even Weather Report's Joe Zawinul or Creed Taylor at CTI realized the full aesthetic and panoramic potential of fusing seemingly disparate elements together in an entirely new tapestry, the way that Brazilian composer and guitarist Luiz Bonfá did on Jacarandá in 1973. His collaborators, producer John Wood and arranger/conductor Eumir Deodato, assembled a huge cast of musicians in both New York and Los Angeles, and came up with nothing short of a grooving, blissed-out masterpiece of fusion exotica. The cast of players is in and of itself dizzying: Airto, Deodato, Bonfá on acoustic guitars, Stanley Clarke, Wood, Mark Drury, Ray Barretto, John Tropea (on electric guitars), Bill Watrous, Randy Brecker, Idris Muhammad, Jerry Dodgion, Sonny Boyer, Phil Bodner, Maria Toledo, and many others -- including full string and horn sections. The ambitious Deodato charts opened up the principals and brought hard Afro-Cuban rhythms, softer Brazilian ones, funky riffing soul and R&B interludes, and classical themes and variations, as well as sophisticated jazz harmonics and syncopation to a collection of tunes by Bonfá and others. Sound like a mess? Hardly. This is one of the most disciplined and ambitions recordings to be issued during that decade. Here Bonfá's gorgeous palette of samba and bossa melodies is married to film score dynamics, lush romantic cadenzas, smoking jazz grooves and cultured extrapolations of folk and popular music schemas. creating a stunning mosaic of color, release, pastoral elegance and bad-ass, intoxicating, polyrhythmic Latin soul vistas. While the entire album flows form front to back with seamless ease, there are a few standouts. The opener, "Apache Talk," features Barretto's congas creating a bottom for Muhammad's brushes and snare, as Clarke's bass plays one note insistently and hypnotically before Wood's Rhodes and finally Bonfá's 12-string come shimmering in with a funky urgency that is underscored by Tropea's bluesy fills. When the horns finally enter, the entire thing is popping and grooving on its own punchy axis. It's a wonder that Gilles Peterson hasn't picked up on this cut yet. Elsewhere, Bonfá's velvety tropical read of Enriqué Granados' "Dance No. 5," with its slippery classical guitar and extended harmonic palette, is a whispering wonder of sensual delight. The minor-key riffing in "Strange Message" that becomes a full-blown soundtrack-esque anthem is a wonder, and the jazzy soul of the title track with Drury's popping stand-up bass playing counterpoint to Bonfá's 12-string before Muhammad and Wood kick it on the funky side is breathtaking (Man, if Ralph Towner could only play 12-string like this, he might have been a contender!)
I've ripped this post from the US Ranwood vinyl issue @ 320.It made a cd reissue which is now out of print.
Personnel: Luiz Bonfá (guitar, vocal), Eumir Deodato (piano, electric piano, keyboards), John Wood (electric piano), Stanley Clarke (electric bass), Mark Drury (bass), Idris Muhammad (drums), Richard O'Connell (drums), Airto Moreira (percussion), Ray Barretto (conga), John Tropea (electric guitar), Sonny Boyer (tenor sax), Phil Bodner (flute, oboe, english horn, clarinet), Romeo Penque (flute, bass clarinet, baritone sax), Jerry Dodgion (flute, alto sax), Randy Brecker (trumpet, flugelhorn), Burt Collins (trumpet), John Frosk (trumpet), Marky Markowitz (trumpet), Marvin Stamm (trumpet, flugelhorn), Wayne Andre (trombone), Garnett Brown (trombone), Bill Watrous (trombone), Tony Studd (bass trombone), Jim Buffington (french horn), Peter Gordon (french horn), Harry Lookofsky (violin), Harry Cykman (violin), Max Ellen (violin), Paul Gershman (violin), Emanuel Green (violin), Harry Katzman (violin), Harold Kohon (violin), Joe Malin (violin), David Nadien (violin), Gene Orloff (violin), Elliot Rosoff (violin), Irving Spice (violin), Alfred Brown (viola), Harold Coletta (viola), Selwart Clark (viola), Emanuel Vardi (viola), Charles McCracken (cello), George Ricci (cello), Alan Shulman (cello), Gloria Lanzarone (cello), Alvin Brehm (arco bass), Russell Savakus (arco bass), Sonia Burnier (vocal), and Maria Helena Toledo (vocal