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Mauricio Maestro featuring Naná Vasconcelos - Upside Down [2011]

Mauricio Maestro featuring Naná Vasconcelos - Upside Down [2011]

1. Horizonte
2. Ancient Truth
3. Jungle Bells
4. Água Clara
5. Canto do Pajé ft. Kay Lyra
6. Todos Os Santos
7. Tango Brasileiro ft. Kay Lyra
8. Ciclo da Vida
9. Ouvindo Estrelas
10. Upside Down
11. Quantas Vezes

Together at the center of the underground ‘60s tropicalia and darker afro-samba jazz movements (rising against a repressive Brazilian military regime) to the free ‘70s Brazilian acid-folk (that flourished in North American and European exile) Maestro and Vasconcelos have created eleven tracks that stir up this time, but in the backdrop of a liberated, prosperous Brazil. Recorded in 2010 the pair combined Maestro’s classic and new compositions with modern folk ideas to outshine many current impressionists. Inspired by the success of ‘Visions Of Dawn’ Joe Davis encouraged Maestro and Naná to return to the studio to complete the long-time coming follow up.

Mauricio Maestro began his career in vocal quartet Momentoquatro in the late 60s before he and Naná became friends in the great Luiz Eça’s thirteen member band Sagrada Família. The pair were also part of Milton Nascimento’s Clube da Esquina scene along with Far Out’s Joyce and Marcos Valle. Having arranged for Brazil’s top artists Mauricio Maestro lent his masterful bass playing to: Joyce’s classic early albums; The Holy Family; played on and produced ‘Visions of Dawn’; and founded Boca Livre in 1979. Naná Vasconcelos has released more than 30 albums over a forty year career that took in a spell playing with legendary folk-prog band A Tribo. Vasconcelos is a vocalist and berimbau player of immense quality and displays his percussion skills that saw him named best drummer in the world for eight straight years by US magazine Downbeat.

In parallel to these works, Maestro has been developing a personal career as musician, arranger, and also composer and interpreter, but the greatest of his compositions –‘Upside Down’ – rested unreleased until now: “On Visions of Dawn I could record for the first time some instrumental and vocal compositions that are a little sample of my production. Now, I'm very proud in having my first solo album released by Far Out. In this new release I have once more the pleasure to work with that Brasilian genius of percussion Naná Vasconcelos. He gives colourful rhythm to my compositions. Kay Lyra, one brilliant singer with a wonderful crystal voice, gave the female touch that I needed to sweeten the sound besides a ten strong string orchestra. The songs are all my originals except the lyrics of "Todos os Santos", written by Joyce the year following ‘Visions of Dawn’, and the extract of classic "Canto do Pajé". I composed each at different moments of my career beginning in 1969 (‘Jungle Bells’), 1971 (‘Ancient Truth’ and ‘Horizonte’), 1977 (‘Todos os Santos’ & ‘Ciclo da Vida’), until ‘Água Clara’ and ‘Upside Down’ written for this album. I had a wonderful time recording at Tenda da Raposa studios in Rio with the great engineer David Brinkworth.”

The third record ‘Broken Bridge’ will complete this remarkable five-decade folk trilogy. Drawing upon forty years of song-writing, revolution and friendship this record is something only these Brazilian masters could dream up.

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