Listening again to a compilation I made almost four years ago, I heard this magical track, which really had a big effect on me. It's probably not for everyone. Meandering and rather wistful, it's not at all funky like some of their later work, but I find it utterly compelling.
As you might have heard, Novi Singers were an incredibly talented quartet of vocal singers recording in Poland in the late 60s and 70s. They did several amazing records. This is taken from what I think was their first, Bossa Nova. But rather than renderings of songs like 'One note samba' and 'Desafinado', the album consists of a delightful and varied collection of originals in a related mood. The result is like bossa nova from a parallel, slightly more melancholic universe.
The accompaniment is a slow, gentle bossa played by a small jazz group, with some rich strings dropping in and out, and the vocals (all wordless/scat) take centre stage. The chord sequence is staggeringly beautiful, and at times the vocalists take slightly extravagant scat solos.
It sounds strange to say it, but this is really one of those tracks that seems to tell an enormous, emotional story, in spite of the fact that it doesn't contain one word! It would make a fantastic soundtrack to a silent movie.
from Bossa Nova (Polskie Nagrania) available on CD - Bossa Nova/Torpedo (Polskie Nagrania)
22 May 07 ·delicado: just to reiterate, this IS the best song ever!
19 Apr 01 ·delicado: yeah, great track! I highly recommend the Polski Nagrania CD of the albums 'Bossa Nova' and Torpedo' - incredible stuff... 05 Sep 02 ·Liv: Compost records (of Jazzanova fame) have also reissued an compilation album with the Novi singers' best tracks..well worth checking out in all their glory.. Especially the contrast between the male/female voices is fresh &innovative sounding..