Friday, July 25, 2008

CD of the Day - "Latin Jazz"

CD of the Day
"Latin Jazz" (Verve/Jazz Club) 2008

Compiled by Sergej Braun, this 18-track attractive collection starts with Sarah Vaughan singing Norman Gimbel's lyrics to Henry Mancini's "Slow Hot Wind". Besides the fact that that song was recorded by Sergio Mendes ages ago, I can see no "latin" connection on it. Doesn't matter. Mancini's song is sublime and Vaughan's 1964 performance is irreprehensible, with Bob James' lush arrangement accentuating the highly sophisticated mood. Oh, and the track was produced by Quincy Jones. So, what else could anyone ask for?
The "latin" feeling appears on Track 2, Oscar Peterson's take on "Mas Que Nada", and remains till the end of the CD.
Quincy returns on "Rico Vacilon" (with the all-star percussion section of Tito Puente, Patato & Olatunji), Clark Terry joins Chico O'Farrill for a taste of "Spanish Rice", Machito & His Afro-Cuban Orchestra present "El Aji Caribe", and Miguelito Valdes sings "No, Negrita, No", also arranged by O'Farrill.
Cal Tjader's "Cuchy Frito Man", arranged by Oliver Nelson and produced by Creed Taylor in 1966, features Chick Corea, Richard Davis, Grady Tate, Attila Zoller, Jose Mangual and Patato.
Xavier Cugat offers a "Cugi's Cocktail", while Lee Evans provides "Cinnamon & Clove" (the Johnny Mandel tune, not Milton Nascimento's "Cravo e Canela").
Anita O'Day, produced by Norman Granz in 1958, does a great job on the latin anthem "El Manisero" (The Peanut Vendor), backed by a Russ Garcia big-band arrangement. Another surprise is Willie Bobo's version of Tom Jones' hit "It's Not Unusual" (hello, Mrs. Schmitz, where are you?)
Dizzy Gillespie plays Marcos Valle's signature song, "Summer Samba" (So Nice), with Candido Camero on congas. Marcos himself - in a duo with his wife at that time, Anamaria Valle (the famous "woman in white of Ipanema" who inspired him to write "Crickets Sing for Anamaria") - apply wordless vocals on "Pepino Beach", with Claudio Slon on drums. Enjoy the ball!

No comments: