Monday, September 30, 2013

Vocal CD Reissue of the Month - "Steve & Eydie, Bonfa & Brazil"

Vocal CD Reissue of the Month
Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gormé & Luiz Bonfá: "Steve & Eydie, Bonfá & Brazil" (Columbia/GL Music)

Featuring: Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gormé (vocals), Luiz Bonfá (acoustic guitar), Eumir Deodato (acoustic piano & organ), George Duvivier (bass), Dom Um Romão & Bobby Rosengarden (drums & percussion), Marvin Stamm (trumpet & flugelhorn), Harry Lookofsky (strings concertmaster, violin)
Arranged & Conducted by Eumir Deodato

After the first (and now ultra-rare) CD reissue of "Steve & Eydie, Bonfá & Brazil" by Sony Music, in the Japanese market, in the early 90s, this wonderful album recorded in 1968 for Columbia in NY, is once again available in the USA through Lawrence's own GL Music label.

Unfortunately, without the original notes from the LP back cover, as well as with no credits for the musicians (Bobby Rosengarden, Dom Um Romão, Ron Carter and Marvin Stamm, among other jazz luminaries). Anyway, the musical content is wondrous, including twelve Luiz Bonfá songs (who plays in all tracks) magnificently arranged by Eumir Deodato. The iconic versions of the haunting ballads "Empty Glass," by the already much missed Eydie Gormé, and "Say Goodbye," sung by Steve Lawrence, plus the gentle bossa "Rio" performed as a duet, are among the highlights.

These are the liner notes from Steve & Eydie to the CD booklet:
"Luiz was coming to the States more often and Don Costa arranged for us to meet him. We really hit it off and decided to do the album. Bonfá told us about a new young Brazilian musician/arranger that he thought would be perfect for us. His name was Eumir Deodato.

The greatest moments for us were the casual and intimate rehearsals at our apartment where we drank dark coffee and learned the songs while Eumir played the piano... as he does on the album and Bonfá played his guitar. To quote Antonio Carlos Jobim... “Bonfá plays the guitar like no other... his guitar is a little orchestra”. 

Luiz and Carlos collaborated on the film score for “Black Orpheus”. A cult film which introduced the world to Bossa Nova... a movement known as ‘New Wave’ or ‘New Groove’ and the film made them both international stars. ‘Manha De Carnival’ is still among the top ten songs played in the world today. We do not get many requests for this opus... but we do for all the other enchanting songs in this marvelous album.

The musicianship is grand, the performances delightful and the memories are unforgettable. We have run out of adjectives... but you won’t after you rediscover Steve & Eydie Bonfá & Brazil."

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