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Erstwhile flutist Wendy Luck is now bossa nova vocalist/flutist on See You In Rio. Formerly a New Age player, The Ancient Key (Amosaya, 1998) and The Ancient Journey (Amosaya, 2001) both took advantage of recording inside one of Egypt's Great Pyramids and in temples along the Nile River. Luck has performed with jazz artists including Ornette Coleman and the late Don Cherry, and more recently performs as lead flutist/vocalist with New York's Rainbow Room Orchestra.
See You In Rio was recorded in part in Rio de Janeiro, and in part in New York. Long Island keyboardist Cliff Gorman is pianist, producer and arranger; utilizing Brazilian guitarist/vocalist Joao Bosco's rhythm section for the Rio sessions, while recruiting percussionist Cyro Baptista and bassist Sergio Brandao for the New York recording date. So, while Luck has no apparent Brazilian links in her background, she is appearing with an almost entirely Brazilian ensemble.
The music is authentic and the vocals are pleasant, pop-oriented bossa nova. Luck's vocal style is easy to take, and she makes these tunes, all sung in English, fit together very comfortably. Only a few vocal tunes are from Brazilian sources (Jobim's "Fotografia" and "Bonita," plus Joyce's title tune), while "Cafe 1930" is by Tango master Astor Piazzolla and "Rio After Dark" is penned by New York label owner David Chesky. The latter is lent a samba setting, with the addition of a five-person chorus towards the song's end.
Luck's vocals are most effective on Benny Carter's jazz standard, "Only Trust Your Heart," "Rio After Dark" and "Bonita." A third of the album is dedicated to instrumentals that largely showcase for Luck's flute work and she adroitly displays her skills on such tunes as Djavan's "Serrado" Joyce's "London Samba" and Villa-Lobos' classic "Bachianas Brasilieras No.5."
The combination of Brazilian-informed music and nicely paced English vocals work well, making See You in Rio a successful new direction for Luck.
Track Listing: See You In Rio; Only Trust Your Heart; London Samba; After the Dance; Why Did I Choose You; Fotografia; Serrado; A Man Who Loves; Prelude:Cafe 1930; Cafe 1930; Bonita; Apanhei-Te Cavaquinho; Bachianas Brasilieras No.5; Rio After Dark.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.