This is series of seriously intoxicating Latin and American Bossa-Samba-Jazz sounds! It all began in the '50s when composer Antonio Carlos Jobim, inspired by West Coast Jazz, helped to form a new music that blended together gentle Brazilian Samba rhythms and melodies with cool-toned improvising. These compilations contain the results of Jobim's influential musical experiment, as they feature a myriad of artists serving up a cocktail blend of rare original Brazilian and American Bossa Nova and Jazz from the 60's. Each volume comes complete with a different sexy vixen on each of the covers…and we do mean SEXY! Includes 80 tracks featuring classic performances by Les McCann, Mongo Santamaria, Cal Tjader, The Champs, Lalo Schifrin, Nina Simone, Stan Getz, Art Blakey, Mel Torme, Peggy Lee, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Man, Kenny Burrell, Mose Allison, Candido, Xavier Cugat & His Orhcestra, Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 and many more.
The sound and band that served Sergio Mendes well on Fool on the Hill remain intact on Crystal Illusions, with few modifications. Dave Grusin is right there with a lush, haunting orchestral chart when needed; Lani Hall is thrust further into the vocal spotlight, as cool and alluring as ever in Portuguese or English. Mendes remained on the lookout for fresh Brazilian tunes, and he came up with a coup, one of the earliest covers of a Milton Nascimento tune to reach North America, "Vera Cruz" (with Hall's English lyrics, it became "Empty Faces"), as well as Dori Caymmi's "Dois Dias."
A 1986 A&M album featuring a mix of Mendes' trademark Brazilian pop with vocals by Siedah Garrett and Joe Pizzulo, a traditional Brazilian styled tune "O Rio" (featuring the great Dori Caymmi on guitar and vocals), and a guest appearance by former Brasil '66 lead singer Lani Hall on "No Place To Hide".
Chucho Valdes, Cuba's most famous jazz musician, has rebalanced the repertoire of his Afro-Cuban Messengers on Border-Free, mixing its American-jazz agenda (the group's name deliberately references both Valdes' roots and the late Art Blakey's classic soul-bop Jazz Messengers group) with more extended Latin-American input, and some Native American and Andalusian connections, too. Saxophonist Branford Marsalis, guesting on three tracks, is warmly romantic on tenor on the loping Tabu, agile and fluent on the Cuban dance-shuffle Bebo, and mercurial on a soprano-sax break full of north African microtonalisms on the hurtling, horn-hooting finale, Abdel.