Ouro Negro (Black Gold) is a tribute to Brazilian composer and instrumentalist Moacir Santos. Santos came from a poor, provincial town and eventually became one of the top composers in Brazil. He worked in radio and television, scored films and wrote popular songs. As an instructor, he taught Brazilian luminaries such as Baden Powell, Sergio Mendez, Airto Moreira and Flora Purim. In the 1960s, he moved to Los Angeles where he scored films, taught music and recorded for Blue Note Records. While not as well known as some of his contemporaries, Moacir Santos is a major figure in Brazilian music.
Ouro Negro presents new recordings of Moacir Santos tunes done by a collection of outstanding young Brazilian musicians. Producers Ze Nogueira and Mario Adnet worked from Santos’s original scores, with some input from Santos himself, to recreate the spirit of the songs. It is a testament to how well the producers of this collection achieved their aim that I couldn’t tell that these weren’t tracks culled and remastered from original tapes. The arrangements are sophisticated with a light, airy feel. It’s tempting to call these compositions “easy listening” because they do seem right for a cocktail party on a warm summer night. When the dark days of winter come around, you’ll want to play this disc and dream of tropical escape. There is a real possibility that you might keep this compilation close to your CD player at all times. A good bossa nova big band record really works in any season.
Adventure Music: www.adventure-music.com