Artists Worth Checking Out: DeNovo Kept Things On The Relaxing Side


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In honor of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team reaching their first World Series since 1988, I thought it was a nice idea to go a bit further down Memory Lane to 1986.

That was the year when Nippon Columbia Records of Japan issued this really cool gem of an album from DeNovo.  Albeit the cover to L.A. Transit shows off a typical row of suburban housing, it is not at all mundane or boring.

This disk is very refreshing, whether you are driving down one of the main streets in and around Los Angeles–or maybe on a nice summer’s day, you have this on your Spotify or Apple Music playlist.  Featuring bubbly covers of “Mas Que Nada”, Antonio Carlos’ Jobim’s “Wave”, “Aqua De Beber”, and Sergio Mendes hit “Pretty World”.

Contributing on the album were Tom Scott (alto sax and regular sax), the late great Oscar Castro-Neves (mainly on acoustic guitar), Paul Jackson, Jr. (electric guitar), and Yutaka Yokokura (keyboards).

A majority of the vocals were beautifully done by Carol Rodgers, Kata Yanai Markowitz, and Gracinha Leporace.  The album does not feel rushed, but similar to more than a handful of my past reviews–each song sounds very loose and carefree.  This is also a great weekend album, where you can simply kick off your shoes or heels and just unwind.

One thing you will notice immediately upon opening up the booklet, about 60 percent of it was written in Japanese.  Lucky for us, the May 1986 notes penned by Japanese music critic Michiko Suzuki provide enough of a glimpse as a worthy addition to any jazz fan’s library:

“It is a well done album with Bossa Nova classic numbers and some original tunes.  It’s the real thing, yet is very LA-ish in that the tunes are fun and relaxing…All song(s) are quite marvelously done.”

Next week, I hope to return with another cool Brazilian jazz album review.

Enjoy your Halloween, and remember–everything in moderation.  If you still have some candy left over, give some to any friend or co-worker that might enjoy it.



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