Bossacucanova E Roberto Menescal: Bossa Got the Blues

Chris M. Slawecki By

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Bossacucanova E Roberto Menescal: Bossa Got the Blues
Listening to BossaCucaNova creates the impression that you're driving an exquisite Italian sportscar on a leisurely and sunny Sunday afternoon. You can hear the smooth purr of the engine powering your rhythm, soft but ferocious, a napping tiger, through the open window. Slicing through the breeze moderates its temperature so that it feels both warm and cool— simply perfect— on your skin. You turn to the left and the right and smile to return the greetings extended by the colorful and inviting scenery bathing in the golden light of that friendly sun above. Bossacucanova makes every day feel better than a good day—feel like a simply perfect day—for a nice ride.

Bossa Got The Blues maintains the preeminence of Bossacucanova—Alex Moreira on keyboards, Marcelinho Da Lua on scratches and samples, and Marcio Menescal on Fender and keyboard bass—among contemporary Brazilian bands whose sound springs from filtering traditional bossa nova through modern production and electronica. It also showcases one of the founding fathers of bossa nova guitar: guitarist, composer, and producer Roberto Menescal, who wrote the famous "O Barquinho (Little Boat)" and happens to be father of Bossacucanova bassist Marcio. (Father also joined son and crew for the band's 2001 global debut Brasilidade [Zuirigiboom/Six Degrees].)

Thanks to Papa Roberto, Bossa Got The Blues and some sweet, swinging Grant Green jazz guitar, too, all wrapped up in Bossacucanova's trademark luxurious 1960s production and presentation. Flavio Guimarães' harmonica leads "Laudir's Theme" out from a Brazilian jungle into an acoustic blues, his howls and wails pouring down on the guitar hook like sweet and sticky syrup. Leo Gandleman, whose saxophones have graced recordings by Gilberto Gil and other Brazilian stars for four decades, also climbs onboard to sing the blues.

These ten tracks would split and retrofit quite nicely into two sides of a vinyl LP, and Gandleman plays on the songs that would close side one (track five, "Blue Bossa") and two (track ten "Galeria Menescal"). "Blues Bossa" cribs the melody to "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" before opening up a dance floor jointly rocked by Menescal's electric guitar chords and Gandelman's moaning and groaning baritone and tenor saxophones. Gandelman adds tenor, baritone and flute in a lovely dance with acoustic guitar and vibraphone to "Galeria Menescal" (which opens, in case you missed all the old school, with the sound of a needle coming down on a vinyl album).

Yes, you could downshift and grind your Bossacucanova sportster into a deeper, harder and more powerful gear. But when you feel as good as the sound of Bossa Got the Blues!, why mess with simply perfect?

Track Listing

1937; Mandacaru; Train to Ipanema; Sambalaya; Blues Bossa; Laudir's Theme; Bossa Got The Blues; Klaunga Rocket; Vou Nessa; Galeria Menescal.


BossaCucaNova: arranger; Alex Moreira: keyboards; Marcelinho Da Lua: producer; Marcio Menescal: bass; Roberto Menescal: guitar.

Additional Instrumentation

Cris Delanno: vocals; Laudir DeOliveira: percussion; Renato Endrigo: percussion; Leo Gandelman: saxophones, flute, horn arrangements; Flávio Guimarães: harmonica; Carlos Malta: bass flute, piccolo; Jota Moraes: vibraphone; Ian Moreira: percussion; Sidinho Moreira: percussion; Rio Maracatu: percussion; Paulinho Trompete: flugelhorn, horn arrangements, trombone, trumpet.

Album information

Title: Bossa Got the Blues | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Six Degrees Records

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