Beautiful summery easy-bossa arrangement of this Villa-Lobos orchestral piece. The tempo floats along at a lazy pace, augmented by gorgeous piano and flute solos, then comes to an abrupt end with a very cool bass riff. Apparently, Schifrin recorded another version of this song in 1996 on the "Gillespiana" album, and that features Karlheinz Stockhausen's son Markus playing trumpet!
I know it's a pretty obvious choice, but this song from the Velvets' third album just gets me every time. When Lou Reed sings "I thought of you as my mountaintop/I thought of you as my peak", as ridiculous as it sounds, I can totally relate. I'm continually in awe of the beauty and tenderness this song. "The fact that you are married/only proves that you're my best friend/but it's truly truly a sin."
from The Velvet Underground, available on CD (Verve)
Excellent gentle mambo arrangement, courtesy of Claus Ogerman, of this spy theme featuring Tjader's vibes and George Castro's flute in nice counterpoint with Palmeiro's piano and some very lively percussion.
from El Sonido Nuevo: The New Soul Sound, available on CD (Verve)
A very cool track, but not in the way I normally find Walter Wanderley's quick-draw hammond organ technique cool. This is a simple, bluesey number on which he is joined by the Brazilian singer Luiz Henrique. Luiz doesn't sing though, he just contributes some nice scat vocals, rather like the work Marcos Valle does on 'Garra'. In my experience, this is about as close as Walter gets to 'funky', and this version from the 'Popcorn' album is a great improvement from the 1967 'Kee-ka-roo' LP version.
Although it's simple and rather well known, I never seem to tire of hearing this track. The blend of percussion, vocals and instrumentation is so delicious that people always stop to listen when I put it on. It's also a perfect distillation of what I think Latin Jazz should be - the horns, percussion and vocals are relentless and full of energy, but always tasteful.
from Spanish Grease (Verve V 8631) available on CD - Uno, Dos, Tres/Spanish Grease (Verve)