Sunday, July 9, 2017

Masterpiece of the Month - "Arthur Verocai: No Voo do Urubu"

Masterpiece of the Month
Arthur Verocai: "No Voo do Urubu" (Selo Sesc)
Rating: ***** (musical performance & sonic quality)

Produced by Arthur Verocai
Project Director: Tamara Emy
Executive Producer: Camila Miranda
Session Producer: Vera de Andrade
Strings Contractor: Paulo Guimarães
Recorded by Carlos Fuchs @ Tenda da Raposa, William Luna Jr. @ Cia. dos Técnicos, David Brinkworth @ Estúdio Áurea, and Daniel Bozzio @ Fine Tuning Studios
Mixed by Arthur Verocai & David Brinkworth
Mastered by David Brinkworth

Photos: Fabio Bitão and Bruno Miguel
Graphic Design: Anna Amendola (Nitadesign)
Liner Notes: Danilo Santos de Miranda & Ruy Castro

Arranged & Conducted by Arthur Verocai
Special Guests: Danilo Caymmi, Seu Jorge, Criolo, Mano Brown, Vinicius Cantuária and Lu Oliveira
Featuring: Arthur Verocai (acoustic & electric guitars, vocals), Itamar Assiere (acoustic piano & Fender Rhodes electric piano), Ricardo Verocai (Fender Rhodes electric piano on "O Tambor"), Luiz Alves (acoustic bass), Alex Malheiros (electric bass), Robertinho Silva (drums, percussion), Ivan Conti (drums), Vera de Andrade (acoustic guitar), Gabriel Grossi (harmonica), Paulo Guimarães (flute & piccolo), Dirceu Leite (clarinet), Jesse Sadoc and José Arimatéa (trumpet), Serginho Trombone and Aldivas Ayres (trombone), Idriss Boudrioua (alto sax), Eduardo Neves (tenor sax), Philip Doyle (French horn), Serghei Iurcik (viola), Emilia, Tatiana Crilova, Lisane de Los Santos, Martina Ströher (cello), Jurema de Candia, Paula Santoro, Marcio Lott and Deco Fiori (background vocals), DJ Nuts (drum programming on "Cigana") et al

The "Timeless Maestro" strikes again! Brazilian living legend Arthur Verocai delivers a new masterpiece, "No Voo do Urubu," with such guests as Danilo Caymmi ("Oh! Juliana"), Mano Brown (the hip-hop "Cigana"), Criolo ("O Tambor" with a sharp brass section), Vinicius Cantuaria (the funkyfied "A Outra" with fiery brass and an harmonica solo by Gabriel Grossi) and Lu Oliveira (the exciting samba "Minha Terra Tem Palmeiras," with lyrics by Paulinho Tapajós) plus an all-star team that includes Azymuth's members Alex Malheiros and Ivan Conti, drummer Robertinho Silva, bassist Luiz Alves (from "Som Imaginário" fame) and flawless keyboardist Itamar Assiere.

In Verocai's unique style, the orchestra is an integral part of his melodies, not used for sweetening. It never sounds like an overdub either, even when it's overdubbed! No other arranger in the world sounds like him.

The title track opens the album with such a strong feeling, in such a deep mood, that makes you wanna keep listening to it over and over again, all your life. The cinematic intro is followed by a funk groove played on the Rhodes that develops so naturally into a samba beat (with the melody sung by Seu Jorge, in the best performance of his life) that sticks to your soul.

As if his gifts as a composer and arranger were not enough to enlight us, there's also Verocai the singer (awe-inspiring on the haunting ballad "O Tempo E O Vento" with lyrics by the late poet Tiberio Gaspar that refer to the leader's life), Verocai the guitarist (soloing with extreme inventiveness on the electric guitar on "O Tambor"), and Verocai the lyricist (the up-tempo bolero "Oh! Juliana" sung by Danilo Caymmi, with the Maestro soloing with gusto on the acoustic guitar). Essential.

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