Before you wring your hands in despair and exclaim: “Oh no! Not another ‘Beatles in Latin’ recording…” think hard because in a manner of speaking there are a myriad of wonderful rhythmic ways to slice and dice Beatles music as there is [perhaps] music in Brasil. And you would probably still not run out of possibilities. So, prepare yourself for Beatles in Bossa – oven-fresh and in rocking great form as only Beatles music can be expected to sound.
Thus we are reminded of two things: the first is that everything is rhythm and music in Brasil – it’s just that “as águas do Brasil” makes music possible like nowhere else on earth. And secondly, the music that there is just one word to describe the music that was written by the Beatles and that word is: “immortal” – to extrapolate: in a manner that most music – especially contemporary music – rarely is.
However, Beatles music is quite difficult to make your own; or, to put it in another way: to make it sound as if was freshly minted just for you. And this is where Minas [comprising principally of] Orlando Haddad [a superb guitarist and musical mind, as these arrangements prove beyond doubt] and Patricia King Haddad – whose smoky vocalastics are irresistably seductive. This fact [and much more] has gone towards scoring a proverbial musical winner for as you listen to the songs unfold in Brasilian-speak [so to speak] it often feels as if this music was written just for them.
Old themes, old names and old places appear fresh – or at least have been infused with a fresh sense of mystery. “Eleanor Rigby” for instance, is like something mystical; hidden in a nook and cranny deep within a favela teeming with life. “Within You, Without You” is turned into a swirling capoeira – and that too, without ever losing its droning Indian groove. The berimbau adds magical flavour when whirling around the soprano saxophone, just like two capoeira contestants.
Meanwhile, the airy piano adds to the serpentine charm as do the bewitching percussive colours of Cyro Baptista’s surdo and cuica, etc. And dig the [marcha/maracatu] twist to the old “In My Life” – complete with vocal and percussion-only redux that brings the song home in Portuguese…
The recording also does justice to the Beatles oeuvre, by not stinting on the number of songs it has opted to put down on record. But more than anything else it is the sheer ingenuity of the invention that is packed into each song that will make your jaw drop. That the arrangements are first rate is only part of the wow-factor. Performances are consistently inventive and superbly captured on record. This is truly one for the ages – as if being a songbook of immortal Beatles music were not enough…! Even George Martin couldn’t have asked for more.
Tracks – 1: Blackbird; 2: Come Together; 3: She Loves You; 4: Day Tripper; 5: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds; 6: I Will; 7: Can’t Buy Me Love; 8: Eleanor Rigby; 9: Within You, Without You; 10: Here Comes the Sun; 11: Norwegian Wood; 12: With A Little Help from My Friends; 13: In My Life; 14: Get Back
Musicians – Orlando Haddad: vocals, guitar and berimbau; Patricia King Haddad: vocals, piano and keyboards; Jim Stager: acoustic and electric basses; John Swana: EVI, flugelhorn and trumpet; Andrew Neu: saxophones and flute; Tom Cohen: drums; Cyro Baptista: percussion and berimbau; Jordan Haddad: vocals; Rob Hyman: accordion
Released – 2022
Label – Blue Azul
Runtime – 1:10:17
YouTube Playlist: Minas – Beatles in Bossa