Charlie Byrd – Brazilian Byrd (Music of Antonio Carlos Jobim) [TrackList follows] – Columbia CS 9137/ Pure Pleasure audiophile vinyl [12/6/13] ****:
I was a fan of Charlie Byrd from his first album out of his Washington, D.C. base of operations. Yet somehow I missed out on this Columbia LP which came out in 1965 and has arrangements backing Byrd’s acoustic guitar with a string section, brass and some woodwinds. Most of the dozen tracks were arranged in a somewhat sweet fashion by Tom Newsom, with three of the tracks being arranged by Byrd himself. Columbia’s Teo Macero produced the session.
However, they’re not cloyingly sweet and certainly better than most jazz-with-orchestral-backing efforts. The music all comes from the great Antonio Carlos Jobim and fits right in with Byrd’s affinity for Brazilian jazz. His unique-sounding guitar is the featured solo instrument in nearly all the tracks. The backing takes three rather different approaches: one with the strings, woodwind and just French horn, one where three other of the woodwinds join the French horn, and one where the whole brass section comes in too.
Byrd originally got hot on Brazilian music when he toured South America in 1961. The next year Tom Newsom was a saxist and arranger with Benny Goodman’s band and spent time in Brazil. So working together, the pair in 1965 have assembled a delightful look at the music of the renowned Brazilian guitarist/composer/singer Jobim. The remastering—from Ray Staff at Air Mastering in London—is a terrific job and the warm vinyl sonics should please any audiophile.
Side 1: Corcovado, Jazz ’n Samba, That Look You Wear, The Girl from Ipanema, Sambo Do Aviao, Engano
Side 2: Amor E Paz, Dindi, Cancao Do Amor Demais, As Praias Desertas, Samba Torto, Someone to Light Up My Life