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Master Composers: Paulinho Nogueira Gave Us True Reflections


Image courtesy of

Not influenced by jazz in the traditional sense, Paulo Arthur Mendes Pupo Nogueira definitely knew how to strike the right balance.  Forty years after releasing his first album for CBS Records in 1959, he came out with Reflexoes (or simply “Reflections”).

Very calm and laid back in tone, the approach is just right for your Thanksgiving tradition of breaking bread and wish bones and in my case, making the right tasting cranberry sauce that can feed more than a crowd if given advanced notice.

Songs like “Bachianinha #1” (Track 3) and “Zelao” (or “Jealousy” on Track 4 give off very soft vibes.  Combining hints of percussion with the guitar, his use of the earliest instruments like the violao made him an instant hit.  He would later produce a pair of Chico Buarque tribute CD’s before suffering a heart attack at his home in Sao Paolo on August 2, 2003.

The album runs about an hour in length and is available both for purchase on physical CD at sites like Amazon, eBay, and and should also be available for instant streaming on Spotify and Apple Music.

For all of my American friends like Fabiana Passoni, Monica da Silva, Sherie Julianne, Bianca Rossini, and Halie Loren–I would like to wish everyone in the United States a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

It’s that Gobble Gobble, Crunch Crunch Time of the year:).

No matter how you plan to celebrate, please try to make it festive and fun.

I will be back again next week with a short EP review from Liz Menezes.   Please take care, everybody.


She Did It! Halie Loren Accomplishes Kickstarter Goal…And Then Some

Just read in my email at 5:24 p.m. Central Time this very happy news:

“Thank you so much to all who have helped to make this project happen!!!
You have made a huge difference in my life and in my art. To each of you, I send my deepest gratitude.

Any amount over the goal will still go toward endeavors around this project, such as music videos of the songs from the album (which I am particularly looking forward to) and promotion efforts to help this music reach farther out into the world!

I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!”

The total stands at a robust $64,230 with an amazing pool of 314 backers helping Halie Loren in making her tenth jazz album (of all original material) a reality.

The dream has come true.  Nobody deserves it more.

And yes, I promise–once my signed CD arrives in the mail, I will blog about it for the blogging community to see.

Again, huge Congratulations to Halie Loren!

I am so happy and proud of you:).

Saluting the 2017 Marco Loucura Brazilian Fun Jazz Champion, Michael Franks


Image courtesy of

By the fall of 1983, Michael Franks had burst off the charts both in jazz and in pop rock.  This was his seventh studio album, produced by Warner Brothers.

Many of the songs are great to relax to, or have as background music if you are either entertaining friends or baking.

Among the most recognizable hits include the opening track, “Alone At Night”, the Atari and arcade game funny tune paying homage to Space Invaders and Donkey Kong with, “Now That Your Joystick’s Broke”, and the hit single, “Tell Me All About It” on Track 8.

Clocking in at just under 45 minutes, it is a very cool listen.  And just like when North Carolina made the big plays late on Monday night against Gonzaga, Michael Franks is definitely a deserving virtual Brazilian Fun Jazz Champion for 2017.

Back to my regular blogs later in the week.

(Sorry, no extra photos.)




Final Two set for 2017 Marco Loucura Title

Just like at the NCAA Final Four, some weird and wacky finishes but the two remaining Number 1 seeds from the Halie Loren and Oscar Castro-Neves Regional emerged unscathed and here they are in the 2017 virtual title game on Monday night.

It will be:

Bianca Rossini



Both images courtesy of

vs. Michael Franks


Images courtesy of Apple Music (above) and (below)


We will find out on Tuesday who won.  See you all then.

Presenting the Fifth Annual Marco Loucura Brazilian Fun Jazz Tournament

E que comece a diversão

Let the fun begin.  Better a bit late than never, right my favorite MPB’s?

The seeding was a bit nerve-racking as a few new favorites slid into the last minute 10 and 11 slots.  But the top four and the bottom four seeds were pretty much set.  As longtime veteran ESPN Radio broadcaster Mike Greenberg says each Friday morning during the NFL season as, “Stone Cold Lead Pipe Locks”–there are plenty of familiar names sprinkled about as you scroll down and see who made it to the virtual party.

One small note…all of the picture credits can be found with an * at the very bottom of this blog post.  Thank you all for your understanding.

And now, without any further adieu, here are the 2017 Brazilian Fun Jazz Brackets–Starting in the upper left corner in a region where they have the Rio airport named after the man who pretty much started it all:



The Overall Number 1 seed is defending champion…

1  Joyce Cooling

16  Soulstance

8  Claudia Leitte

9  Patricia Marx

5  Patricia Talem

12  Marcos Valle, back again for the second year in a row

4  April Aloisio

13  Doris Monteiro, almost forgotten talent from the Bossa heyday of the 1960’s

6   Ricardo Silveira

11  Syliva Telles

3  Marcio Montarroyos

14  George Duke

7  Ulisses Rocha

10  Chris Standring

2  Frank Sinatra

15  Gerardo Frisina

Next up, we head to the Upper Right Quadrant in your brackets and we find the…



The Overall Number 2 seed is the woman who wore that interesting umbrella dress during the 2012 London Olympics Closing Ceremony…

1  Marisa Monte

16  Alexia Bomtempo

8  Ive Mendes

9  Wanda Sa

5  Ivete Sangalo, will her exuberant dresses shake her way past the First Round this time?

12  Morgana King

4  Sherie Julianne

13  Ligia Piro

6   Laurindo Almeida

11  Lee Ritenour

3  Walter Wanderley

14  Yutaka

7  Carol Welsman

10  Julie Dexter

2  Fabiana Passoni

15  Ceu, making her Brazilian Fun Jazz debut

We next head down the Lower Right Quadrant and we check in on the…



The Overall Number 3 seed and top dog of this Region is…

1  Michael Franks, hoping last year’s stinging last second loss will not linger for a second time.

16  Gregg Karukas

8  Rique Pantoja

9  Superpulse

5  Basia

12  Manu Santos, back again for the second year in a row looking for another surprise

4  Lori Carsillo

13  Bruna Caram

6  Ivan Lins

11  Randy Crawford

3  Monica da Silva, just fresh off her cross-country move to L.A.

14  Cris Braun

7  Luciana Souza

10  Mark Sganga

2  Gisele de Santi

15  Liz Story, making her first Brazilian Fun Jazz appearance

Finally, we have arrived at the Lower Left Quadrant.

As the old saying goes, ‘The Best Shall Be Last’.

However, I beg to differ just a bit–since this veteran musician has had a difficult beginning to 2017 and my blog in late January wanted to do more than just set the record straight.  It was about having an extra virtual shoulder to lean on in difficult times.  Thankfully, my prayers along with those well wishes from several MPB’s, friends and fans alike helped this woman greatly gain a deeper perspective both on this complex journey called life and giving us some major lessons on how to live each and every day to its’ fullest potential.

I am proud to name my final region after a really great friend of this Blog.

Welcome One, Welcome All to the Always Amazing, Very Smart and Truly Proud…



And the final Number 1 seed is another cool friend of this Blog…

1  Bianca Rossini

16  Bobby Brazil

8  Sergio Mendes, making his first ever appearance after so many years!

9  Seu Jorge

5  Tania Maria

12  Toco

4  Sabrina Malheiros

13  Babado Novo

6  Boney James

11  Pat Metheny

3  Paula Fernandes

14  Hebe Camargo, another brief star of early bossa nova from the 1960’s

7  Danni Carlos

10  Maria Bethania

2  Diana Krall

15  Kleber Jorge

FIRST FOUR, the names in bold advanced after initial matchups were played on March 14 and 15:

NEVES:  Soulstance vs. Stacey Kent

JOBIM:   Randy Crawford vs. Carlos Maita

NASCIMENTO:  Ithamara Koorax vs. Alexia Bomtempo

JOBIM:  Al di Meola vs. Sylvia Telles

The likes of Muiza Adnet, Moacir Santos, Ze Bruno, and Full Circle all saw their bubbles burst.

Check back next Monday for a simple breakdown of the first two rounds and an updated doce dezesseis, or Sweet Sixteen bracket.

Please remember, these brackets will resemble that of the real NCAA Men’s Division One Basketball Tournament to take place on CBS and three Turner cable outlets.

For all things hoops related, please kindly again tap or click on the link below.

As an added bonus, you can actually hear my voice for the first time in some specific blog posts since November 2016.  Kindly scroll down until you see the huge Soundcloud rectangular banners with the image that says, “I Love Basketball”.

All of your key news on the real Big Dance can be found at…

* Pic Credits for Antonio Carlos Jobim and Milton Nascimento were courtesy of, Oscar Castro Neves courtesy of, and Halie Loren was courtesy of

Master Composers: Rosinha de Valenca


Image courtesy of

Born as Maria Rosa Canelas on July 30, 1941, she lived until June 10, 2004 spending most of her time in her hometown of Valenca in Rio.

Best known for her playing of the acoustic guitar, she picked up the instrument and learned at a very young age since her brother played it.  According to her Wikipedia page, she also picked up many sounds while listening to the radio.  She would later travel to the United States in teaming up Sergio Mendes, Wanda de Sah, and Brasil ’65.  She would also tour the world from 1968 until 1971.  She produced six albums between 1964 and 1990 and also recorded a trio of live albums from 1966, 1975, and 1977.

My album pick to wrap up February goes back to her earliest work and probably her most famous from 1964 in the album simply titled, Apresentando.

Clocked in at ten simple tracks totalling only 24 minutes and 49 seconds, it is very fast paced and loose in terms of the musical arrangements.  Plenty of flutes play in the opening three tracks and some horns dominate on the fourth song.

But there was only small problem with the liner notes:

It is all in Japanese. 

As Charlie Brown used to say years ago, “UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH!”

As a public service, I will be happy to email someone several pictures of the liner notes.

Your job, should you choose to accept it is a simple one–

Please find someone who is fluent with written Japanese words to translate the print language into American English.  That is going to be the only way possible to give my usual complete blog.

As for the overall album itself–it is a cool listen, excellent for any Sunday afternoon no matter what season it is on the calendar.  Although we don’t get to hear her voice until the fifth and final track, it is still a very nice album.

And in case if you were wondering, it is available for purchase on Amazon–mostly in Japan.  I was surprised that an order was placed in October 2016 and it took until the Friday before the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday to finally receive the CD in the mail.

Yes, the wait for me was all worth it in the end.

Rosinha will simply be remembered as a great star who packed a lot of life in such a short period of time.  Although she spent her final years suffering major health problems ranging from a heart attack and eventually slipping into a coma, she definitely left her mark during the golden age of Brazilian jazz.


As I patiently and calmly await official word from two of my favorite MPB’s today that Fabiana Passoni will be releasing a duet of “Namarados” with Roberto Vally, and Monica da Silva will soon be producing a new album.  Just fyi, Monica is part of the cool duo of the Complicated Animals with Chad Alger.  They just wrapped up a successful tour around Jacksonville, Florida and have both decided to pull up their stakes several thousand miles away in Los Angeles.

But going forward–I have decided to kick off March in a different, but fun way.

What would the early MTV hits of the mid 1980’s sound like in bossa nova form?

The same group that digitized Cecilia Dale’s work also did the Bossa Project Lounge and I will spend a bit of time on Wednesday deciphering their takes on popular Top 40 songs ranging from Tears for Fears in “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”, the Pet Shop Boys in “West End Girls”, The Pretenders in “Don’t Get Me Wrong”, and one of my all-time favorite rock songs growing up, the famous 1983 hit single by The Police with “Every Breath You Take.”

There are also a couple of smooth jazz hits as they put their spin on Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind, and Fire.  Look for that review after taking in another edition of Carnaval in Rio and Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Please have a great week, everybody.  Hope to see you all then.

So long, Al Jarreau

True giant in the jazz industry passes away hours before Grammy Awards

Citing an online article from Ebony magazine, the seven time Grammy winner died suffering from exhaustion.  However, no actual cause of death was released.  This happened a few days after announcing his retirement on Twitter from touring after an exemplary 50 year career (professionally began in 1975).

He died one month before turning 77, but what a discography of songs Al Jarreau left behind–as the only jazz artist to win Grammy Awards in jazz, pop, and R&B.

Besides doing a very slow remake of “Love Dance”, he did some really cool songs during the 1980’s from covering the theme to the once popular ABC prime time drama series Moonlighting, the popular Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 hit, “Like A Lover”, “We’re In This Love Together”, and one of my early favorite jazz hits growing up, “After All”.

In lieu of flower and other gifts, the family has requested that donations be sent to  the Wisconsin Foundation for School Music, which is an organization that supports music opportunities for teachers and scholarships for students in Milwaukee and throughout the state of Wisconsin.

His manager, Joe Gordon, in a tribute to on Jarreau’s website, described the singer as “the ultimate gentleman who never stopped appreciating his listeners or the myriad people who worked for him directly or indirectly.

His first priority, far ahead of the other (music), was healing or comforting anyone in need.  Whether it was emotional pain, or physical discomfort, or any other cause of suffering, he needed to put our minds at ease and our hearts at rest.  He needed to see a warm, affirming smile where there had not been one before.  Song was just his tool for making that happen.”

Another kind person and cool talent has left us.  Sadly, there aren’t too many left.

Al Jarreau said it himself in 2016 reflecting on a remarkable career in an article on the Jazz Times magazine website, growing up hearing classical music to the blues on 1950’s and 1960’s Milwaukee radio:

“How lucky we were as musicians to have those influences which were really present in our lives. There were no walls then; there are so many walls today.”

He will be missed, but his music shall live on.  May Al Jarreau RIP.