Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Oscar Brown Jr. & Luiz Henrique

Oscar Brown Jr. & Luiz Henrique - Finding A New Friend Fontana SRF-67549 (1966)

Here's two artists who need no introduction. A rare coming-together by these great vocalists and friends who met at Greenwich Village's Cafe Au Go Go in August 1965. If truth be told, Brown's sly, sardonic vocal style isn't an exact fit for bossa nova; he has to rein himself in for this subtle, almost whispering idiom. But then, the songwriting collaboration works surprisingly well, mostly leaning toward a romantic bossa style, but occasionally hearkening back to Brown's North American hipster persona. And they wander off the territory altogether with Brown's playfully racy bossa calypso, "Wham! Bam! Thank You Mam!".

The album also includes a few Brazilian standards as appetizers before the collaboration begins in earnest. The multi-talented Brazilian Santa Claus, Sivuca, is responsible for three of the soft-focused arrangements, while Henrique takes charge of the rest.

1) Laia Ladaia
2) Nothin' But A Fool
3) Manha De Carnaval
4) Much As I Love You
5) I Had No Idea
6) Wham! Bam! Thank You Ma'm!
7) Finding A New Friend
8) Dawn Comes Again
9) Listen To Me
10) The Answer To My Prayer
11) Seeing Maria
12) Barra Limpa

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