Artists Worth Checking Out: Brasil 2 Mil Provides Soulful Jazz Songs To Savor


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SPECIAL NOTE:  It comes with some more sadness that one of the truly great Brazilian jazz pioneers that saw a career ranging from guitarist to musical director and orchestral conductor for Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 before finishing up in the early 2000’s with a nice solo career has been called into Heaven.  On September 27 in Los Angeles, the great Oscar Castro-Neves passed away at the age of 73.
No question, his meeting with Antonio Carlos Jobim as a teenager helped spawn a movement, a following back with recording of the song “Chora Tua Tristeza’ (Cry Your Sadness)” in 1956.  A concert inside New York City’s legendary Carnegie Hall followed in 1962, and by the time Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 kicked off their American phenomenon–the rest, they say, was history.

His “More Than Yesterday” CD is a definite addition to any jazz fan’s music library.  Carrying an infectious enthusiasm and true life for the genre, Oscar gave fans many great gifts.  For that, similar to Milton Nascimento’s passing back in March 2013, his legacy will go on for decades to come.  May he Rest In Peace.


Getting back into the compilation spirit this time around is a selection from 1999 under San Francisco’s Six Degrees label.

Brasil 2 Mil features 14 interesting tracks, all set to different individual rhythms.  Featuring a tropical triple-fold cover, the always sensual sound of Bebel Gilberto leads off with almost an Enya-like chant in the opening seconds of “Sem Contencao” (or “No Containment”).  The next track features many tropical animals lending their ears on Lenine’s “O Dia Em Que Faremos Contato” (or “The Day We Make Contact”).  The only pure English speaking track is number 3 with Arto Lindsay’s slow paced version of “Ridicuously Deep” (might I add, it is a bit difficult hearing him sing since I guess his voice was several inches away from the microphone, so you might have to turn up the volume a bit on your speakers to hear him clearly, just fyi).

A great party song is Track 6 by Smoke City with “Numbers”.  Not too fast, not too slow–just the steady form led by the cool vocals of Nina Miranda and the various percussion and keyboards done so masterfully by Marc Brown and Chris Franck.

Other songs worthy of a listen or two are Track 8, “Voce Gosta” (or “You Like”) by Suba and Track 10, “Sem Pisar No Chao” (or “Without Stepping on The Ground”) by Vinicius Cantuaria.

Fans of the Red Hot and Rio series should instantly recognize Track 12…no formal introduction necessary once you hear the first set of flutes by Chico Science.

Next week, I hope to have another online interview with a famous artist.  Just like the fall foliage in the northern United States–it is arriving slowly, but surely.  Stay healthy, hope to see you then.

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