Monday, March 1, 2010

DVD of the Month - "Sivuca, Toots Thielemans & Sylvia Vrethammar"

DVD of the Month
Sivuca, Toots Thielemans & Sylvia Vrethammar: "Encontro no Rio"
(Gazzel Films/Sonet Records/Biscoito Fino) 1985/2010

Release Date: March 16, 2010
Available for pre-order at Dusty Groove:

Produced by Rune Ofwerman; Executive Producer: Dag Haggqvist (Sonet)
First official DVD release of the documentary "Rendezvous in Rio" filmed (for the Swedish television in 1985) mostly during a showcase at Chico's Bar, in Rio de Janeiro, but also including short takes from sessions at Som Livre Studios as well as sightseeing images. Total time: 43 minutes.

Featuring: Luiz Avellar, Luizão Maia, Paulo Braga, Carlos Braga, Ricardo Silveira, Rubem Ohana de Miranda, Junior Homrich & Leo Gandelman. The late Ohana (former Tamba Trio drummer) appears only in the studio footage. Junior is featured in the opening of the video, in a short solo, but doesn't plays in the studio segments or in the showcase either. There's no image of Leo Gandelman, who took part of the recording sessions, but is only heard on "Carioca."
Guest appearances by João do Vale, Chico Buarque & Miucha.

Back in April, 1985, the universal genius Sivuca, the Belgian master Toots Thielemans (the undisputable best jazz harmonica player in the history of music, whose mastery in his instrument was matched only by the Brazilian titan Edu da Gaita) and the wonderful Swedish singer Sylvia Vrethammar met in Rio to record this TV documentary - originally titled "Rendez-vous in Rio" - plus three albums for the Stockholm-based label, with offices also in London, Sonet Records : Thielemans' "Chico's Bar" (Sonet SNTF-944), Sivuca's "Som Brasil" (Sonet SNTF-942) and Vrethammar's "Rio de Janeiro Blue" (Sonet SNTF-943).

Some years ago, in 2006, when preparing the compilation "A Trip to Brazil Vol. 5: Copa do Mundo 2006," produced by Arnaldo DeSouteiro for Universal, I was fortunate to receive the license to include a track from Sylvia's album, which was never reissued on CD on its entirety. Arranged by producer Rune Ofwerman (rhythm) and Luiz Avellar (brass), “Que Bonito É” aka "Na Cadência do Samba", composed by Luiz Bandeira (1923-1998) in 1956, was made famous in Brazil by Waldir Calmon as the main theme of "Canal 100" (a newscast program showed at the cinemas that lasted from 1959 to 1986), and is the Brazilian equivalent of “Match of the Day”. Sivuca (playing accordion while doing scat singing in unison), Luiz Avellar (keyboards), Luizão Maia (electric bass), Paulo Braga (drums), Ricardo Silveira (guitar), Ohana and Marçal (percussion), Leo Gandelman (alto sax), Luna Messina, Viviane Godoi de Carvalho and Regina Souza (backing vocals) provide excellent support to Sylvia. The original LP cover photo shows the Swedish beauty sensually laid in the sands of the Leblon beach.

Well... now "Que Bonito É" appears as one of the main tracks on this fascinating and eagerly-awaited DVD. Other highlights: a funky take of "Carioca" (the American standard composed by Vincent Youmans & Gus Kahn, from the recording sessions of Sylvia's album at Som Livre Studios), the forro anthem "O Chêro da Carolina" (sic), the bossa nova classic "Meditation" (one of the Antonio Carlos Jobim/Newton Mendonça's masterpieces), a bossa-jazz version of Chico Buarque/Francis Hime's "Vai Passar" (including the best solos of the "event" by both Toots and Sivuca, who quotes even Ravel's "Bolero" during his accordion solo), the Swedish folk song "Who Can Sail Without Wind" (Toots' solo number during a boat cruising) and the Randy Crawford r&b hit "Rio de Janeiro Blue."

No comments: