Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fusion CD Reissue of the Month - "Moacir Santos: Carnival of The Spirits"

Fusion CD Reissue of the Month
Moacir Santos: "Carnival of The Spirits" (Blue Note) 1975/2012

The third and final album that the Brazilian genius composer, arranger, vocalist & multi-instrumentalist (Brazil's top baritone sax player ever, besides his skills on alto sax and percussion) Moacir Santos recorded for Blue Note, "Carnival of The Spirits" finally comes out on CD format for the very first time.

During four sessions that took place from March 17 to 20, 1975 @ The Record Plant studios in Los Angeles, California, Moacir conducted an all-star team of LA studio cats (plus some Brazilian friends) assembled with the help of producer-arranger Dale Oehler and contractor Jules Chaiken, featuring: Clare Fischer (acoustic piano), Larry Nash (Fender Rhodes electric piano & Hohner D6 clavinet), Jerry Peters (Yamaha organ), Chuck Domanico (electric bass), Harvey Mason (drums), Robertinho Silva, Paulinho da Costa & Luiz Alves (percussion; yes, Alves, a famous Brazilian bass player who was in LA touring with Airto and Cal Tjader, joined the percussion section to make an extra cash), Dennis Budimir & Dean Parks (electric guitars), J.J. Johnson & George Bohanon (trombones), Ray Pizzi (soprano sax, clarinet, bass clarinet), Don Menza (flute, alto flute, tenor sax), Jerome Richardson (soprano sax, alto flute), Gary Foster (alto sax), Ernie Watts (bass flute), Oscar Brashear, Mike Price & Jerry Rusch (trumpets), David Duke (French horn) and Lynda Lawrence (vocals).

The album was produced by Dale Oehler, who also arranged six of the eight tracks. Dale's scores are excellent (specially the latin-tinged "Sampaquita," the only song not composed by the leader, the 60s gem "Coisa No.2" and the gentle "Jequié"), but Moacir Santos' brilliant arrangements are the highlights, true lessons in orchestrations like "Quiet Carnival" and "Anon." In all aspects an essential item, one of the most important CD reissues of the year alongside Santos' debut album for Blue Note, "The Maestro" (featuring Joe Pass, Frank Rosolino and Clare Fischer), to be reissued this week in Asia.

Executive Producer: Dr. George Butler (Blue Note's A&R at that time)
Engineers: Phil Shier & Joan DeCola, assisted by Bob Merritt
Mixed @ Westlake Audio (LA, CA)
Mastered @ Kendun Recording (Burbank, CA)
Art Director & Illustrator: Bob Cato

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