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Recreating a Famed Bossa Rehearsal

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As a Brazilian teenager and guitarist in the late 1950s, Nara Leão befriended many of the singer-songwriters pioneering the bossa nova in Rio de Janeiro. These musicians included Roberto Menescal, Carlos Lyra, Ronaldo Bôscoli, João Gilberto, Vinicius de Moraes and Antônio Carlos Jobim. Employed at hotels as musicians along the Copacabana beachfront, these musicians were often invited over to the nearby home of Leão's parents in 1958 to rehearse bossa songs and refine their sound. Leão soon became known as the “muse of the bossa nova" and a bossa star in her own right.

Last week, Nelson Porto in Brazil sent along a YouTube video clip of leadong bossa nova artists (and an English one) recreating what those rehearsals sounded like. I'm guessing the video is from 2011. Marcos Valle is in a rose T-shirt, Roberto Menescal (who was at the original rehearsals) is in white, famed Brazilian singer Leila Pinheiro is in black, Andy Summers (English guitarist with the Police) is in blue and popular bossa nova vocalist Pery Ribeiro is in the two-toned pink shirt. They are performing Marcos Valle's Samba de Verão, also known in English as Summer Samba. I believe they are in Marcos's Rio penthouse apartment. Behind Pinheiro is Marco's wife, Patricia, who also also is an accomplished singer.

Here's the clip...



JazzWax notes: To read my post on Nara Leão, go here. To read my WSJ “House Call" with Marcos Valle at home, go here.

JazzWax bonus: Here's Leila Pinheiro's Isso é Bossa Nova from 1994. All of the album's sensual tracks follow this one at YouTube...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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