Buckskin

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Manu Lafer – 2018

O cd Buckskin, de Manu Lafer, é inspirado no apelido de infância de Bucky Pizzarelli, 91 anos, uma das maiores lendas e decano do jazz, especializado na guitarra americana de 7 cordas e dono de um estilo único na escola desse instrumento, vinda de George Van Eps, e do swing jazz da guitarra de 6 cordas de Freddy Green e Charlie Christian. Bucky acompanhou de Benny Goodman, Julie London, Frank Sinatra a Paul McCartney, fazendo também apresentações teatrais dos espetáculos de Stephen Sondheim. Na televisão tocou nas atrações Johnny Carson e Skitch Henderson. Gravou como músico de estúdio muitos hits do pop dos anos 60 e discos jazzísticos com os guitarristas George Barnes, Tal Farlow e Wes Montgomery, entre outros, antes de iniciar uma prolífica parceria fonográfica com o saxofonista Zoot Sims.
O compositor e cantor brasileiro Manu Lafer, produzido pelo baixista Martin Pizzarelli, e coproduzido pelo guitarrista Ricardo Baldacci (que também toca e canta em participações), também brasileiro, faz uma homenagem ao guitarrista, celebrando a música e a alegria de tocar de Bucky, em torno do qual todos orbitam musicalmente nestes registros e sempre.
A banda do repertório de swing tem como base a bateria de Tony Tedesco, figura constante dos filmes de Woody Allen (como Bucky), o baixo acústico do produtor Martin e o piano de Larry Fuller, com a participação do virtuose do clarinete e saxofonista Ken Peplowski. Manu divide os vocais da maioria das faixas com Ed Laub, que se apresenta regularmente em duo com Bucky na guitarra de 7 cordas e é uma das vozes mais expressivas da atualidade, lembrando a de Arthur Prysock, além de ser autor do seminal cd Soft Guitar, no qual homenageia um grande conhecedor e amante da música brasileira, Kenny Rankin.
Martin e Bucky (que gravou em Terra Brasilis, de Tom Jobim) fazem leituras de bossa-jazz Tom Jobim (Wave, Estrada Branca)., com a bateria de Duduka da Fonseca, o violão de nylon de Marc Sganga e a participação de uma das maiores cantoras brasileiras, Maucha Adnet, que fez parte do conjunto vocal Céu da Boca e da Banda Nova de Tom Jobim, juntamente com Danilo Caymmi, parceiro mais assíduo de Manu.
No repertório instrumental, além de um medley de guitarra solo de Bucky (Easy To Remember e This Nearly Was Mine, ambas de Richard Rodgers), uma pérola de Bucky, Take Ten, solada por Ken Peplowski à moda dele e de Zoot Simms, e acompanhada pelo vocalize de Manu e o violão acústico de Manu na sua Um Abraço Nos Pizza, dedicada aos Pizarellis (a gravação original, do cd Mané Mandou, tem o arranjo de metais de Lincoln Olivetti). Em Canto Casual, álbum de John comemorativo dos 50 anos do LP de Sinatra e Tom, John Pizzarelli e Jessica Molaskey aproveitaram versos de Manu numa canção autoral, daí a oportunidade da homenagem.
No repertório americano, números frequentes do duo Bucky-Ed Laub (Bennnies/Pennies From Heaven, Love Walked In), músicas menos gravadas (Caroline, de Randy Newman, Fishing Pole, em rara versão com a letra, além do assobio célebre da televisão americana) e duas pérolas do genial Brian Gari (Yvette, Slow Moving Sam). Destaque para o trabalho do engenheiro de som Bill Moss, que dá linearidade e espontaneidade ao repertório, de um time e estilo musical abrangente e ambicioso do projeto, fazendo da audição um passeio para os ouvidos e corações.

 

Brian Gari/NYC – Fall 2017

A few years back I received an email from a person I had never heard of before. It was very complimentary of my music (as well as my uncle’s, Robert Clary.) The person lived in Brazil and at first I thought it was a joke. A fan from Brazil? Yes, I did do a Brazilian album several years ago (“Here I Come Brazil”), but I truly didn’t think very many people were paying attention. Well Manu Lafer was. He included a YouTube video link so I watched it. I was amazed by his talent. This guy was for real. It started a friendship that has resulted in several collaborations both live and on CD. The latest is what you are listening to right now.

“Yvette” is a song I wrote 40 years ago. It was always a staple in my act and I did record it on my Brazilian album. However, Manu’s version (with the help of extremely talented instrumentalists like Marc Sganga on guitar) is extremely authentic in its Brazilian jazz style. I have been a recent collector & admirer of the late Chet Baker & the trombone (courtesy of Bruce Bonvissuto) heard on this recording reminds me of Chet. The whole track is a wonderful homage to my hero, Joao Gilberto.

It doesn’t stop there. How wonderful to hear Ed Laub’s great vocals on a wacky song I wrote in the 70s called “Slow Movin’ Sam.” I never dreamed it would come out on an album like this!

The title of this album is called “Buckskin” for a reason…Bucky Pizzarelli is here playing his 7 string guitar on many tracks including his own composition “Take Ten.” I actually was on the bill with Bucky at a small jazz club called Soerabaja on New York’s upper east side when I was all of 20 years old. I think Bucky was leery of this upstart until he heard me play my classical guitar & saw I was quite serious about being a musician & not just a folkie who knew three chords.

One of my favorites on this album that I had never heard before was a parody of “Pennies From Heaven” called “Benny’s from Heaven” with a lyric by the late Eddie Jefferson. Sadly, he was murdered leaving a jazz club when he only 60 years old.

In trading songs with Manu over the last several years, I sent him a song called “Bossa Nova” written & performed by Kathe Green, a writer I met at a Jimmy Webb concert in 1971. We performed together for a while. She even introduced me to her father, the legendary Johnny (“Body & Soul”) Green. What a surprise when I found he & Maucha Adnet did such a beautiful job resurrecting the original by Kathe.

I was also pleased to see Manu chose two Jobim compositions; “Wave” and the more obscure “Estrada Branca,” which was also recorded by Kenny Rankin under its English title “This Happy Madness.”

Manu does do some digging into the obscure…I mean how many people have recorded a vocal version of the theme to The Andy Griffith Show (“Fishing Hole”)? Or a Doris Day 1947 tune by Mel Torme & Robert Wells (Yes, the guys who wrote “The Christmas Song…Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire”) entitled “Tacos, Enchiladas and Beans.”

It was also nice to see Randy Newman’s “Caroline” has been included with Larry Fuller honoring Randy’s piano arrangement. The song had been written specifically for Harry Nilsson when he did the Nilsson Sings Newman album in 1970. Nilsson did over 100 takes and 118 overdubs. I hope Manu didn’t have to work that hard!

Let’s not forget Manu’s own composition & guitar work that is so exquisite on “Um Abraço Nos Pizza.” How can he do it all?

Faixas

1. Take 10 (Bucky Pizzarelli)
2. Ain't She Sweet (Milton Ager, Jack Yellen)
3. Wave (Tom Jobim)
4. Benny's From Heaven / Pennies From Heaven (A. Johnston, J. Burke, E. Jefferson)
5. Fishing Hole (Earle Hagen, Herbert Spencer, Everett Sloane)
6. Um Abraço nos Pizza (Manu Lafer)
7. Tacos, Enchiladas and Beans (Mel Torne, Robert Wells)
8. Love Walked In (George and Ira Gershwin)
9. Estrada Branca / This Happy Madness (Tom Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes, Gene Lees)
10. Easy To Remember / This Nearly Was Mine (R. Rodger, L. Hart)(Rodger, Hammerstein II)
11. Yvette (Brian Gari)
12. Slow Moving Sam (Briam Gari)
13. My Cutey Is Due At Two To Two Today (Albert Von Tilzer, Leo Robin)
14. Bossa Nova (Kathe Green)
15. Caroline (Randy Newmann)
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