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Several Shocking Surprises In the Marco Loucura Version of the Sweet 16

The favorites continued to fall by the wayside

Yours Truly Online did not see this coming.

The highest seed to emerge from the Oscar Castro-Neves Region was the five seed of Gisele de Santi.  She is going forward the new favorite going into the next round.

Also, the 11 seed of Patricia Talem–my first ever interview from another blog site earlier this decade is the newest version of a Cinderella darling.

Here are your matchups for Thursday and Friday:


7. Morgana King vs. 11 Patricia Talem

5. Gisele de Santi vs. 9 Nico Gomez


  1. Joyce Cooling vs. 5. Sabrina Malheiros

2. Ivan Lins vs. 3. George Michael


  1. Marisa Monte vs. 5. Gerardo Frisina

2. Frank Sinatra vs. 11. Lani Hall, what a matchup that is going to be


3. Djavan vs. 7. Ricardo Silveira

4. Bianca Rossini vs. 9. Luisa Maita

Who will emerge to the Brazilian Fun Jazz Final Four?  Find out next week.




Major Upset In Marco Loucura

Marina Elali gets TKO’d by 1960’s artist Marilia Medalha

If you had it all figured out, you are sorely mistaken–especially in the minutes following the first ever Number 16 seed to knock out the overall Number 1 seed as the Maryland Baltimore County Retrievers out of the America East Conference simply pummeled the top seed of Virginia on Friday night in Charlotte, 74-54 in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men’s basketball Tournament.

This means in the Oscar Castro Neves Region, could Gisele de Santi have new life?  We will find out more on Monday.  Please try to enjoy your weekend.

Master Composers: Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass


LP image courtesy of

For most of the 1960’s, Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass were it.

Wikipedia listed them as one of the top groups encompassing jazz, Latin, funk, pop, and R&B.  From the week ending October 16, 1965 through April 29, 1967, the group had at least one album in the Top 10–an astounding 81 weeks in a row.  They were also in the Top 10 most of that period as well.  In fact, over 13 million LP’s were sold in 1966 edging out the Beatles.

Even the famed Guinness Book of World Records recognized the group when he set a new record placing five different albums simultaneously in the Top 20 on the Billboard Pop Album chart.  During the first seven days of April 1966, four of them albums found themselves in the top 10–matching the same feat accomplished by The Kingston Trio towards the end of 1959.  Several CBS television primetime specials would soon follow and many more accolades and awards made them one of the 20th centuries greatest musical groups.

This album came out originally in 1964 under the A&M Records label.  Although the CD cover image has the woman smiling while cuddling adjacent to Alpert’s famous trombone, there is a commemorative booklet with 24 pages of detailed liner notes that are included as part of the Herb Alpert Signature Series.

Overall, the album covers around 30 minutes of solid trumpet and pianos aplenty.  In particular, their non-vocal version of “The Girl From Ipanema” is a definite show stopper.  You have to listen very closely to understand the full effect.

But this album has a deeper, more special meaning for Yours Truly Online…

This blog is in tribute to one of my mother’s all-time favorite groups.

And yes, my mother first managed to hear about this group while attending the same school for all 12 years–first in grade school, then in high school.  I don’t know too many other individuals, famous or otherwise who have done that.

Similar to Herb Alpert himself who is still going strong these days at age 82, my mother crossed a milestone age that she is taking fully in stride on Saturday.

Only me and her closest family and friends what that age exactly is.

Personally though, I hope she enjoys hearing this album with the famous boxed set of Whipped Cream. 

Feliz Aniversário, Mãe E Muito Mais.

Happy Birthday, Mom and Many More.


Master Composers: Pery Ribeiro


Image courtesy of

Pery Ribeiro (1937-2012) began his career dubbing the voice of Bashful, one of the Seven Dwarfs while his mother took on the role of Snow White herself.

It would not be until 1959 when he began his long and illustrious singing career.  While being employed as a camera operator for the first South American TV network called TV Tupi–famed announcer Cesar de Alencar gave the singer his stage name that would last the rest of his life.

In the early 1960’s, Ribeiro recorded many 78 RPM records plus he teamed up in 1961 on an album with the songs “Manha de Carnaval” and “Samba de Orfeu” by Luiz Bonfa and Antonio Maria.  According to the Wikipedia page, both gentlemen were given integral parts to the soundtrack of the 1959 film Black Orpheus (of which you can read my review in an earlier blog).

But perhaps his biggest claim to fame was recording the classic bossa nova number, “Garota de Impanema”, or “The Girl from Impanema” in 1963.  The song was part of his second LP, “Pery é todo bossa” (translated meaning, Pery is all bossa).

He mostly did concerts both in Mexico and the United States before calling Miami home in 1988, where he would remain for 23 years.  Sadly, Pery died of a heart attack in Rio on February 24, 2012.

My Album Pick of the Week features his best work in a 17 song compilation album, which is available on Amazon.  The songs are good natured, relaxing, and sometimes soothing–great for anxious times as we are all experiencing following a rather perplexing time at the XXIII Winter Olympics in South Korea.

The disk by Movieplay Music lasts about 54 minutes in length, and in general is a great disk for weekday listening.  Overall, it is a very good album and definitely worth adding to your Brazilian jazz library.

Say Goodbye To (Most Of The) Master Composers, And Hello To More Rising Stars

With the notable exception of Halie Loren recently announcing on Kickstarter her tenth (!) album scheduled for a late April release, I will continue to focus on artists of these current times on a periodic basis.

If you wish to have a general definition of what a Master Composer is:

It is defined in my world as any man or woman who successfully produces at least ten albums in their lifetime.  And certainly, Halie Loren has deserved this amazing title after all of the things she has been through in her early years.

Otherwise, please continue to enjoy more Artists Worth Checking Out as I continue to pursue other artists that mostly flew under the radar in the early days of the Internet, let alone social media’s early beginnings from around 1995 to 2006.  My pursuit of searching for more quality albums to listen to, both on physical CD, plus via online streaming sites such as Apple Music and Spotify will help me greatly in my pursuit of chronicling as many artists as possible at least until this decade is out.

After Christmas 2019, who knows what I will decide which direction this blog will take?  At least, I plan to keep it up–thanks to the many cool artists that I have come to know as great people in their own individual ways.

Later this week, as we flip the calendar to the always exciting month of March (mostly because of the many thoughts I have in my other blog as we get down to the final weeks of covering men’s college basketball in the United States), I will profile an artist who did an entire album chronicling many movie scores from past Academy Awards.  And with the Oscars airing on Sunday, March 4–this is going to be nice timing as I introduce a two-fer of Ana Caram.

The rest of the blog posts throughout the rest of March will appear on your inbox on Wednesdays, so I can concentrate more on my other blog here on WordPress during the other days of the week.

But yes, I have not forgotten–

The Sixth Annual Marco Locoura Tournament Will Return on March 12.

Same regional names you have known and love, but plenty of new and upcoming artists are looking to knock off a bunch of old faves in my makeshift brackets.  Is this the year for Terra de Sul or Basia to break through, or will Sylvia Brooks make a dramatic entrance?  Maybe Zanna or Danni Carlos might crash the party, thinking like Loyola of Chicago hoping to make their first NCAA trip since Madonna hit it big on MTV way back in 1985.

Please stay tuned, because it is going to be fun.  I will explain more about my unique part of this blog on the afternoon or early evening of Monday, March 12.

See you all again later this week.  Take care, everybody.

Master Composers: Leny Andrade


Image courtesy of

Born as Leny de Andrade Lima on January 26, 1943 in Rio, she began her music career mostly singing in clubs in the 1960’s.  After that, she would spend five years living in Mexico and a better chunk of her life in both the United States and Europe.

Tony Bennett once referred to Leny as “The Ella Fitzgerald of Brazil”.  Not very well known in commercial circles, her page on Wikipedia mostly said that she earned the title as ‘Brazilian First Lady of Jazz” when her stops in Europe included countries such as Italy and the Netherlands.

Between 1961 and 2014, she was featured or co-produced in 28 different labels–including three on the CBS record label from New York (twice in 1979 and once more in 1988).

My Album Pick of the Week is on one of her last efforts from 2014, when guitarist Roni Ben-Hur was asked by Leny to do the guitar work on 14 different tracks.  According to the liner notes, all but two of the songs were recorded in intense Rio heat during the last week of January 2014 inside the famous Castelo Studio.  While New York and most of the New England region was suffering through the polar vertex during that winter season (thank you, ABC Meteorologist Ginger Zee for educating us Americans on Twitter and Facebook on why that term became so popular).  Five months later, the tracks “Balanco Zona Sul” (Track 2) and “Ana Luisa” (Track 12) were recorded across the Hudson River at Teaneck Sound in New Jersey.

The songs flow so effervescently from her microphone to the listener’s ears, just like the calm waves from the many kilometers of Rio beaches that dot the major streets.  All of them play in a very relaxing, intimate vibe–great for kicking off your shoes (or heels in the case of the ladies who might be reading) and also nice companion music if you happen to reading your favorite book either in print or using your Kindle or Nook device.

Perhaps the best quote from Leny herself said it best,

“I chose songs that will touch people through their emotions, songs of high quality…They know that I sing with my heart in my throat, because of the emotions I truly feel from the lyrics, otherwise I won’t sing.  I want, I like and I only accept making good music.”

And the best part, Leny is still around to experience mostly the good times.  Isn’t that what life should be all about in the first place?  More good times than bad–I would say yes to that statement any day, any hour of the week.

Same goes for my final tribute to the pioneers of bossa nova as I will profile the work of Pery Ribeiro next week.  To kick off March will be another two-fer featuring Ana Caram–as we draw closer to the annual Academy Awards, of course being pushed back from its’ customary February time slot due to NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics from South Korea.  See you all next week.


Master Composers: Marilia Medalha


Image courtesy of

Born as Marília Medaglia in Niterói on July 25, 1944), this former Brazilian singer/songwriter composed six albums over a quarter century (1967 through 1992).

According to her Wikipedia page, she started his music career at a place called the Icaraí Regattas Club and also the Central Club in Niterói in the 1960s, collaborating with the likes of Sergio Mendes and Tião Neto.

In 1965, she took part in a major play in Sao Paulo titled, “Conta Zumbi” (translated meaning, “Zombie Account”) by Augusto Boal and Gianfrancesco Guarnieri.  For her performance, she took home the APCA Award as Breakthrough Actress of the Year.

1967 was her glory year.  After being named a presenter with Edu Lobo at the Zum Zum nightclub in Rio along with the TV program Excelsa (appearing with Maria Bethânia, Gilberto Gil Sergio Ricardo, and Caetano Veloso), the III Festival of Brazilian Popular Music TV Record; Marília conquered First Place for Ponteio (credits by Edu Lobo and Capinam), beating out Edu Lobo in the process.

In 1968, she defended “Memórias de Marta Saré” (Edu Lobo and Gianfrancesco Guarnieri) in the 4th annual edition of that Festival.  In the first ever Samba Biennial, she finished in third with ” Presentiment “(Elton Medeiros and Hermínio Belo de Carvalho), a song that was included in his second LP.

In 1970, a concert in Bahia at the Castro Alves Theater, this time appearing alongside Vinícius de Morais and Toquinho, led to touring overseas during most of 1971 and 1972.  Upon her return, the LP Encounter was released.

Very little biographical information was given after that, except for the fact that Caminhada was released during that same year.

The disk runs about 35 minutes, and is mostly a disk if you like hearing horns and flutes.  The first few seconds sound like you are in a meditative state about reading to go to some yoga class.  The pace picks up quickly and almost gets you into the late, great Dolores O’Riordan and The Cranberries type of pace.

If I had to pick one track that really stood out, it would be Track 5 “Fim Do Mundo” (“End Of The World”).  (Good thing she didn’t good full out R.E.M. on us, just saying).

The final two tracks, the title track and “Xaxado de Espantar Tristeza” (“Freaking Out Of Sorrow”) go on a mostly deliberate, melancholy pace.  In terms of the quality of the songs, it was about average at best.  At least, the nice surprise is on the disk surface itself–the disk looks exactly what you would see on a vinyl record.  Since this is another CD available on Amazon outlets in Japan–if anyone can translate the insert to American English, that would be greatly appreciated.

As I said in the beginning of this blog post, if you are a fan of flutes and horns–this disk should be right up your alley.  I am hoping that next week’s entry will be really nice, since this is a person that I have been waiting and hoping to finally cover.

And she recently moved to New York hoping to make a name for herself after many years covering the hits in Brazil.  Her name is Liz Rosa, and she will be my focus this year on Valentine’s Day.  Hope to see you all then.


Master Composers: Jorge Ben


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Born on March 22, 1942 as Jorge Duilio Lima Menezes in Rio, he would later be known as Jorge Ben Jor–or simply in this blog as Jorge Ben.

As a teen, Jorge sang in a church choir a few years after picking up his first pandeiro (of which Wikipedia refers to as a specific type of Brazilian tambourine).  He was seen playing in carnaval blocos (common name for street festivals) in the weeks leading up to Carnaval.

By 1960, he would be performing in nightclubs and parties in and around Rio.  It was at one of these parties when he sang the popular single, “Mas Que Nada”.  The people left were impressed.  When the Tropicalia cultural movement brought along elements of samba combined with funk, and rock–Jorge Ben also chimed in with lyrics that blended humor and on most occasions, dealt with subject matter so esoteric–most locals did not understand him.

When his name eventually circulated to television, Jorge became a really big star.  African jazz would become a major part of his repertoire by 1976.  Electric guitar would be his instrument of choice, and after winning an out of court case in 1979 when the song “Taj Mahal” was remade after one of Rod Stewart’s popular hits–his star continued to blossom.

In 2002, he contributed to the Red, Hot, and Riot album, a tribute to the music of Fela Kuti.  However, one of his biggest personal moments came when President Barack Obama cited him in a speech given on March 20, 2011 at the Theatro Municipal.

And he is also a huge fan of the Brazilian soccer team Flamengo, of which he took the time to write six songs on behalf of the team.  Overall, Jorge Ben has produced and/or contributed on at least 35 albums between 1963 and 2008.

My entry is from the year 2000, and you can a very good sense of his music in the first three tracks.  Lots of horn action and groovy piano sets are featured on the first two tracks, especially on the English version of “Take It Easy My Brother, Charles.”  The third track resembles most general wavy, good natured, calm bossa nova sounds of the 1960’s with “Que Maravilha”.  The other 11 tracks execute these similar patterns.

Small break from the past and getting back to the present

Next week, I will hope to do my first Q&A of the year featuring a budding artist from Los Angeles.  As a young girl, she witnessed many concerts from some of jazz’s biggest stars–including Peggy Lee, Stan Getz, and Sarah Vaughan.  After a brief period experimenting in television, jazz singing became her true calling.  Since 2009, Sylvia Brooks is becoming a star on the rise.  On one of her albums released in 2012 titled Restless featured songs like, “Stormy Weather” and the Green Day rock tune, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” for her expanding jazz catalogue.  In May 2017, her third album The Arrangement featured songs like “Besame Mucho” and “Sweet Surrender.”

Look in your inboxes sometime next week for her thoughts on her 2009 debut album, Dangerous Liaisons.  One look at her album cover, you would instantly think she was typecast as being a “damsel in distress”.  Rather, it is trying to tell you a story–a story through song about love, passion, heartbreak, and courage in the face of adversity.

In the years prior to making her debut, Sylvia had to survive a personal family tragedy.  Having gone personally through this myself in the last several years, key parts of Sylvia’s story definitely deserve to be told.

When I first read an article about her in the fall 2017 issue of JAZZIZ Magazine, I knew right away this would be a great addition for my blog.

And one of the first questions she asked me via email was simply, “How many followers do you have?”  I immediately told her that “I was hopefully looking for more.”

There is always room for more.  I am sure the wait will be worth it by the time this blog is linked on her website alongside many other blogs and people’s reviews of her albums going all the way back to August 2009.

I will have a few more reviews of artists from the 1960’s starting up again in February.  Please have a nice weekend before the sudden rush of hype that is Super Bowl week takes over most of the United States.