Brazil - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 19 - 05/11/98
Recipe For Rhythm
In September 1997, I reviewed Luiz Simas' New
Chorinhos from Brazil for Luna Kafé. That landmark
recording featured one of Brazil's most traditional musical genres:
choro. Luiz's approach in his original choro compositions was true to
the traditional choro style, and yet it also brought a contemporary
edge to his chorinhos.
When I heard Recipe For Rhythm for the first time, I could
not believe my ears. Not only was Luiz presenting a totally different
sound -- and I am not referring to the fact that he sings in this
release -- but he was also successfully achieving his proposition of
"making good music", as he expressed to me in a recent conversation
we had. He takes advantage of the moment he currently lives and
transforms it in a musical extravaganza. What comes out of that is
his Recipe For Rhythm, the most befitting title for his
collection of 11 danceable songs. Luiz is responsible for the music,
and Ellen Schwartz adds the English lyrics to most songs. With the
help of musicians like Romero Lubambo, Ricky Sebastian, and
Sérgio Brandão, Luiz Simas cooks a delicious menu of
Sugar Reef is a strong opening track. This
Caribbean-flavored samba brings a peaceful breeze to romance and
laughter. A city boy is struck by the power evoked by an island girl.
The sea, the sun, the breezes, and your imagination lead you to
romance. The romance thread continues in You Never Know. Love
can appear just about anywhere, and you will never know just when.
"Love blooms in any season", the lyrics say. Luiz's soothing voice, a
constant in all tracks, and Romero Lubambo's guitar solo here make
this samba one of the best tracks in Recipe.
The poetry in Ellen Schwartz's verses is a very strong asset to
Luiz's melodies. It is an integral part of a perfect match one
expects in any good song. In a meditative tone, If She Asks
Him exemplifies just how music and lyrics complement each other.
Bob Kindred's sax solo adds to the romantic setting of this ballad.
The title track, Recipe For Rhythm, pays homage to the many
rhythms that have fascinated musicians everywhere. From the Gulf of
Mexico down to Patagonia, the rhythm we hear is the uniting force of
different cultures. Bossa-nova influenced songs, such as
Maybe, are spiced up by Luiz's piano and Romero's guitar
solos. Just before the last track is played, Luiz brings one more
surprise, Another Cloudy Day. This is a slow ballad with a
strong jazz flavor. It is the kind of song you will hear a 2 A.M. in
a bar, and it will haunt you the rest of the week.
Luiz Simas has definitely found the recipe for a string of hits
with this release. As with a line in Recipe For Rhythm, this
CD has got the "rhythm to feed the soul". Luiz Simas shows how
versatile he can be. More importantly, he proves what a consummate
artist he is with Recipe For Rhythm.
Copyright © 1998 Egídio Leitão