Another CD that’s been around me since the beginning of time: The Astrud Gilberto Album (Silver Collection), one of the best compilations of her work. With her simultaneously childlike and alluring voice and vibrato-less ‘desafinado’ (deliberately slightly off-pitch) singing style, Gilberto is one of the most unique and unforgettable singers in the history of jazz.
‘Manhã De Carnaval’ (‘Morning Of Carnival’), is the title of this popular song by Brazilian composers Luiz Bonfá (music) and Antônio Maria Araújo de Morais (lyrics). The song appeared in the 1959 Portuguese-language film ‘Orfeu Negro’ (‘Black Orpheus’), by French director Marcel Camus, based on a play by Vinícius de Moraes. An impression of this beautiful movie can be seen here, on my YouTube channel. The song is considered to be one of the most important songs that helped establish the bossa nova movement in the late 1950’s. The song is also known by the English version called: ‘A Day In The Life Of A Fool’, or simply as ‘Carnival’.
Manhã, tao bonita manhã. Na vida uma nova cançao, Cantando só teus olhos, Teu riso e tuas maos, Pois ha de haver um dia Em que virás.
Das cordas do meu violao, Que só teu amor procurou, Vem uma voz falar Dos beijos perdidos Nos lábios teus.
(In English) Morning, such a nice morning. In life there’s a new song, Singing only of your eyes, Your smile and your hands, For there has to be a day When you come.
From the strings of my guitar, Which seek only your love, Comes a voice to speak Of the kisses lost In your lips.
Charles Mingus has been quoted as saying that this is the best album he ever made, and that’s recommendation enough. ‘New Tijuana Moods’ (originally released in 1962 as ‘Tijuana Moods’, and reissued in 1996 on CD with four alternate takes) is one of Charles Mingus’ most raucous and exciting sessions, an aural souvenir of his Mexican vacation with drummer Dannie Richmond. As Mingus recounts in the liner notes, his marriage had just broken up, and he was looking to drown his sorrows in as much debauchery as he could endure. That background definitely comes through in the music, which combines south-of-the-border rhythms and folk melodies with Mingus’ meaty, adventurous modernist jazz.
Recorded on August 6th, 1957 (and inexplicably shelved until 1962), at RCA Victor’s Studio A, New York City.
Charles Mingus - Bass Shafi Hadi (Curtis Porter) - Tenor Saxophone Clarence (Gene) Shaw - Trumpet Jimmy Knepper - Trombone Bill Triglia - Piano Dannie Richmond - Drums