Sunday, February 20, 2011

CD Reissue of the Week - "Johnny Alf: Diagonal"

CD Reissue of the Week
Johnny Alf: "Diagonal" (RCA/BMG Japan) 1964

Musical content: *****
Recording & mixing: *****
Remastering: *****

A masterpiece! Splendid vocal & instrumental performances, superb arrangements by the unsung piano & Hammond hero Celso Murilo, "the genius from Baependi," the small city in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil, which is famous for the Venerable Nhá Chica, adored by Paulo Coelho and millions of others.
Also featuring: Edson Machado, Luis Marinho, Jorginho (Jorge Ferreira da Silva), Neco, Aurino Ferreira, Zé Bodega, Macaxeira, Norato, Maurilio dos Santos, Hamilton, Julinho (Julio Barbosa) et al.
Highlights: "Disa" (my personal favorite of all Alf's brilliant tunes, co-written with Mauricio Einhorn), "O Céu Você" (an obscure gem penned by Luiz Bonfá & Maria Helena Toledo), the wordless vocals on "Diagonal" (Durval Ferreira/Mauricio Einhorn), Zé Maria's "Triste Noturno" (to which Alf added lyrics), plus two samba-jazz anthems composed by Johnny Alf: "Céu e Mar" and "Seu Chopin, Desculpe." Essential!

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