With a long and varied list of credits that reads like a Who’s Who in Rock and Jazz (Weather Report, Miles Davis, Madonna, Sting, Dire Straits, David Bowie, Daft Punk, among countless others), Omar Hakim has long been regarded as one of the elite drummers on the scene. And because his services have been so in-demand since the ‘80s, his own solo projects have been few and far between. He debuted in 1989 with the aptly-named Rhythm Deep and followed up in 2000 with The Groovesmith, both of which showcased his writing-arranging skills along with his irrepressible prowess on the kit. Now, 14 years later, comes Hakim’s crowning achievement to date. A powerful, genre-defying high energy concept album, We Are One boasts an all-star cast including keyboardist Rachel Z (Wayne Shorter, Peter Gabriel, Al Di Meola), guitarists Chieli Minucci (Special EFX) and Jimi Tunnell (Trilateral Commission) along with keyboardist, co-writer and arranger Scott Tibbs, bassist Jerry Brooks, vocalist Angel Rogers and special guests Gregoire Maret on harmonica and Bob Francheschini on tenor sax. For a few songs on the album, Omar also acts as multi-instrumentalist, performing on guitar, keyboards, bass and vocals.
From the epic opener “Transmigration” (which draws favorable comparisons to Return To Forever’s Romantic Warrior or Chick Corea’s To The Stars) to the breezy, catchy pop flavored “Carpe Diem,” the aggressively burning, crunchy metal-jazz of “Walk The Walk,” the ultra-funky “Listen Up!” and the mellow, lyrical title track, Hakim and his crew traverse a myriad of styles on this ambitious outing. And drum aficionados take note: there are plenty of examples of Omar digging deep and slamming with rare authority throughout this powerhouse session. “I used to get a lot of criticism and flak from the fans because they would always say, ‘You don’t play enough drums on your solo records.’ So this time I wanted to make sure I play some serious drums. And I think this project really captured a lot of different aspects of my drumming style on one record — the funk stuff, the rock stuff, the jazzier stuff. It’s kind of all there.”
Fans should be suitably stunned by Omar’s remarkable drumming on “Transmigration,” “Walk the Walk” and particularly “Listen Up!,” which features some of his most ferocious soloing on the record. And yet, this is hardly an album about chops for chops sake. There is a thoughtful undercurrent of meaning that ties these ten tracks together in a thematic way, with the sound of Hakim’s crisp, quick-handed fills and signature beats providing the common ground. “With this record, the idea was to discuss spiritual truths, kind of like Old Age spiritual ideas that are at the basis of every world religion. A lot of religions basically talk about the same thing, just in different languages and in different time periods. But they always get back to the Creator, the Oneness of creation, the fact that we are all connected as a spiritual organism. And so, I wanted to thematically deal, in the song titles for the album, with this idea of spiritual oneness, of spiritual connection with people.” The Omar Hakim Experience – We Are One
Label: Verve Records [V6-5053] LP US 1968; Verve Records [710 017] LP (Germany) 1968; Verve [VK 10584] 45rpm 1968 as A- Crickets Sing Of Anamaria B- If You Went Away
Producers: Bob Morgan, Ray Gilbert
Genre: Bossa Nova, Samba, Latin Jazz
**also part of Various Artists - 24 Karat Gold For Groovin' Verve [V6 654-2] 1968
Samba '68 is a vibrant set of Brazilian pop, indebted to bossa nova and samba but undeniably Americanized for a domestic audience. The result is a joyous album throughout that wears its dated sound quite well. Marcos Valle interprets eleven of his own songs, including Brazilian standards like "Chup Chup, I Got Away," "Batucada," and "So Nice (Summer Samba)," as well as new tracks like "Crickets Sing for Anamaria" and "The Answer." The vocal harmonies of his wife (the Anamaria of the song title) provide a beautiful counterpoint to Valle's voice on several tracks, making Samba '68 one of the best Brazilian crossovers of the 1960s. ~ John Bush, AMG.
Marcos Kostenbader Valle (born 14 September 1943 in Rio de Janeiro) is a Brazilian singer, instrumentalist, songwriter and record producer. He has produced works in many musical styles, including bossa nova, samba, and fusions of rock, soul, jazz, and dance music with Brazilian styles. Valle's talent was evident from his high school years, which coincided with the explosion of the bossa nova movement in Rio. His classmates included future legends such as Edu Lobo and Dori Caymmi, and his composition "Sonho de Maria" was included on the Avanco album by the influential Tamba Trio in 1963. With his brother Paulo Sergio Valle as his lyricist, he had already built an impressive portfolio of songs, prompting Odeon Records (a subsidiary of EMI) to sign him as a singer. His debut album Samba "Demais", was released in April 1964. His reputation quickly spread, and his fellow musicians (including Wilson Simonal, Elis Regina, and Nara Leדo) lined up to record his songs. A second album, O Compositor e o Cantor, followed in 1965, and featured what would become his most recognisable song, "Samba De Verדo" – known in English as "So Nice (Summer Samba)" – along with other hits such as "Deus Brasileiro," "Gente", and "A Resposta". Nineteen sixty-six brought Valle's first trip to the United States, where he and his then-wife Anamaria briefly teamed up with Sיrgio Mendes in an early version of what would later become Brasil '66. The threat of being drafted and sent to Vietnam caused Valle to return quickly to Brazil, although the following year saw him back to the United States and enjoying some success, including the release of his U.S. debut album, Braziliance!, on Warner Bros. Records, and several appearances on the Andy Williams TV show. Following session work on Verve Records releases by compatriots Walter Wanderley and Astrud Gilberto, the label released Valle's Samba '68 featuring English-language versions of songs from his earlier Brazilian releases.
Shortly thereafter, feeling homesick, Valle returned to Brazil and entered a new creative phase. Viola Enluarada (1968) was more mature and introspective, far removed from the frothy feel of Samba '68. The title track was a duet with Milton Nascimento and became one of Valle's signature compositions in Brazil. It also betrayed a political consciousness largely absent from Valle's previous work – he would become more overtly political in the years to come. The album as a whole pointed to a broader range of musical influences (particularly the Northeastern Brazilian styles he had enjoyed listening to since his childhood days) that moved him out of the "strictly 'bossa nova artists' club." This process continued on 1969's Mustang Cor de Sangue ou Corcel Cor de Mel, another leap forward that incorporated rock, soul and pop idioms, all stamped with Valle's own melodic style. His work on the album reflected the sophisticated pop approach of American songwriters such as Jimmy Webb and Burt Bacharach as well as the inescapable influence of The Beatles. Around this time, Valle began writing music for TV programs and telenovelas (soap operas), which over the next few years would become one of the main outlets for his work, along with advertising jingles. Marcos Valle (1970) (often referred to as The Bed Album due to its cover shot of Valle in bed) contained his most adventurous as well as his most rock-influenced and psychedelic music up to that point. Backed by Milton Nascimento's band Som Imaginario, Valle explored a more eccentric approach, with a number of futuristic tracks and an extended instrumental suite not unlike the work of U.S. composer and producer David Axelrod. Garra (1971) was a career highpoint that summed up his music and still stands as one of the finest pop albums of the era, Brazilian or otherwise. Its effervescent pop, jazz, soul, bossa, and film soundtrack stylings were matched by lyrics that attempted to reconcile Valle's hippie leanings with his status as a wealthy young musician who was also a successful businessman because of his successful novela soundtracks and corporate advertising accounts. Telenovelas he provided some or all of the music for during this period included O Cafona, Uma Rosa com Amor, Minha Doce Namorada, Pigmaliדo 70, Os Ossos do Barדo, and, most prominently, Selva de Pedra. He also wrote the score for the film O Fabuloso Fittipaldi (1973). Vento Sul (1972) found Valle long-haired and bearded, and backed by the progressive rock band O Terחo. His most experimental effort to date (he even flirted with heavy metal on the song "Mi Hermoza"), it was a sales flop, although it has acquired admirers over the ensuing decades. The following year's innovative Previsדo do Tempo fared better. It was made in conjunction with the band that initially formed to back Valle at live shows and named itself after one of his songs, Azimuth (soon to change the spelling to Azymuth). This album had a notable jazz fusion feel thanks to Valle's enthusiasm for the Fender Rhodes piano and Azymuth keyboardist Jose Roberto Bertrami's expertise on the Hammond organ and assorted synthesizers such as the Mini-Moog and the ARP Soloist. This sound would prove a decisive influence on the acid jazz scene in Europe twenty years later. Another innovation in Previsדo do Tempo was the use of vocal percussion on the track "Mentira", ten years before hip-hop artists introduced beatboxing. Valle emulates a drum kit with his voice to perform a pattern and a fill. From 1972 to 1974, Valle provided the music for Vila Sיsamo, Brazil's version of Sesame Street. In 1974, he also released his final album for Odeon, again self-titled. This album differed yet again from its predecessors in pursuing a piano-pop sound reminiscent in turns of Elton John, Todd Rundgren and Bread, and replete with elaborate vocal arrangements. ~ Wikipedia.
Disco resgata antigas parcerias de Paulo César Pinheiro com Guinga. Poesia, melodia e harmonia sofisticadas.
Toda loucura contida na música de Guinga – loucura de olho de cego cantador, de pincelada de Van Gogh ou do mistério de Julio Cortázar, a quem Mônica Salmaso dedica a gravação – está em “Fim dos tempos”, choro-canção que inspirou letra apocalíptica de Paulo César Pinheiro: “Nós somos todos/ Todos aflitos/ De um lado os doidos/ De outro os malditos/ Com o fim dos tempos/ No coração/ E pelos becos, pelas ruas/ Pelo mundo andamos sós”. Esta obra-prima que abre “Corpo de baile” recebe de Tiago Costa arranjo camerístico (quarteto de cordas, baixo acústico, flauta, clarinete e violão) que não apenas soa à Villa-Lobos, mas insere a obra de Guinga na sua estrada natural: a que começa em Villa e vai se transfigurando em Tom, Edu, Dori, até chegar nele, agora. O disco é o acontecimento artístico mais importante da música brasileira atual – e talvez o título da primeira faixa, “Fim dos tempos”, soe, mais que crua constatação, como lírica ironia. E é o mais importante por motivos objetivos: a melhor cantora faz seu trabalho mais elaborado (no sentido da densidade das canções e do colorido orquestral), sobre a obra do maior compositor em parceria com o letrista que contém toda a história e a estética da música brasileira.
Guinga já salvou a música brasileira uma vez, em seu pior momento, os anos 1990, quando ressurge em sua parceria com Aldir Blanc, registrada em um punhado de discos produzidos por Paulinho Albuquerque para o selo Velas (criado por Ivan Lins e Vitor Martins SÓ para lançar Guinga), e no CD “Catavento e girassol”, de Leila Pinheiro. Guinga e Aldir influenciaram tudo que veio depois. Agora, ao reunir canções anteriores mas não menos modernas, Mônica promete insuflar novos jovens. Dá aula. Passeia pelo Nordeste na clave da saudade retirante em “Porto de Araujo” e celebra a natureza em “Quadrão”; recria (do repertório de Elis) com arranjo grandioso de Nelson Ayres a densidade do “Bolero de Satã” e lança a marcha “Rancho das sete cores” (outro primor); vai da moda telúrica (“Violada”) às valsas francesa (“Nonsense”) e vienense (“Corpo de baile”). Passa até por um inusitado fado, “Navegante”, o velho formato invadido pelas invenções harmônicas de Guinga.
Abrange da cultura indígena de “Curimã” (com vocal da especialista Marlui Miranda) à católica de “Procissão da padroeira” (com arranjo grandioso de Dori Caymmi, calcado em violoncelos). Recria o que a dupla faz melhor, canções densas como “Fonte abandonada” e “Noturna”, e lança a modinha “Sedutora”, na mesma linha e tão boa como a famosa “Senhorinha”. Como uma Elizeth Cardoso em “Canção do amor demais” , que com Tom e Vinicius relançou a música brasileira para o futuro, Mônica Salmaso acha Guinga e Paulo César Pinheiro em pleno fim dos tempos.
Um dos destaques do novo trabalho é a gama variada de colaboradores. Mônica convidou nomes de peso para assinar os arranjos: Dori Caymmi, Tiago Costa, Nailor Proveta, Luca Raele, Nelson Ayres, Paulo Aragão e o marido, Teco Cardoso, responsável pela produção e pela direção musical.