Monday, June 16, 2008

Box Set of the Day - "Baden Powell: The Legendary MPS Albums"

Box Set of the Day
Baden Powell: "The Legendary MPS Albums" (MPS) 2008
Another stunning box set issued by Universal from the MPS vaults, this time including, on 2 CDs, four complete LPs - "Tristeza on Guitar", "Poema on Guitar", "Canto on Guitar" and "Images on Guitar" - recorded by Baden Powell from 1966 to 1971. 34 tracks!
"Most Perfect Sound Edition" series produced by Matthias Kunnecke.
The beautiful 24-page booklet includes rare photos (including a pic of Baden in the studio with his dear friend, the late jazz historian Joachim-Ernst Berendt, who produced most of those sessions), the original liner notes from each LP (all by Berendt) and a new essay written by the Brazilianist Claus Schreiner (titled "A Brazilian in the Black Forest").
All albums were recorded at MPS Studio in Villingen, except "Tristeza on Guitar", cut in Rio back on June 1 & 2, 1966, at RioSom Studio by engineers Paulo Nascimento & Dorival Resi. Those dates were co-produced by Wadi Gebara Neto (mispelled "Adi" in the box set), the owner of the Forma label. Baden was supported by Copinha, Milton Banana, Alfredo Bessa, Amauri Coelho (aka Amaury Rodrigues) and Sergio Barroso (credited only as "Sergio" on the booklet). Among the many outstanding performances are "Canto de Xangô", "Canto de Ossanha", "Manhã de Carnaval", "O Astronauta", "Das Rosas" and Monk's "'Round Midnight".
The other sessions recorded in Germany feature Baden (at the height of his powers) with Swiss drummer Charly Antolini, Stuttgart-based bassist Eberhard Weber (of ECM fame) and flutist Sidney Smith on the tracks from "Poema on Guitar" - such as "All the Things You Are", "Valsa de Eurídice" and "Samba Triste".
The two remaining albums feature an all-Brazilian rhythm section with bassist Ernesto Gonçalves, percussionist Alfredo Bessa and drummers Helio Schiavo (mispelled Schiaro) and Joaquim Paes Henriques, added by the splendid Janine de Waleyne (a former member of the vocal group Double Six of Paris) on "Images", most notably on Baden's one and only acid-jazz dancefloor hit, "Blues à volonté", a 8-minute variation on Quincy Jones' "Soul Bossa Nova". Baden and Janine had met in a hotel in Berlin just a days prior to the recording, during a break of a tour that the singer was doing with Gilbert Bécaud.
Back in 2002, I had included "Blues à volonté" on the third volume of my compilation series "A Trip To Brazil" for Universal. Prior to that, the intoxicating track had been reconstructed by both the Maxwell Implosion and Freddy Fresh for the 2-LP set "Mojo Club - The Remix Album" in 1999. Essential!

No comments: