A rare one from 60s Brazil – and a really great small combo bossa session with some very unusual instrumentation! At their core, the Balona group seem to be a bossa piano trio – but many tracks here have a little "something else" – vibes, electric guitar, or trumpet – often used sparingly but with enough punch to really help shade in the sound of the tunes, even with a few jagged notes. A few numbers have harmony vocals – ala Tamba Trio, but perhaps a bit less modern – and the overall sound is pretty darn great! Titles include "Balonadas", "Aurora", "Meu Balanco", "Balanco 67", "Insensatez", "Tema Para Dois", "Vem Menina", "Duas Contas", and "Ceu E Mar". CD
An overlooked album of bossa guitar from Hugo Luiz – maybe the only record we've ever seen by the musician, and a set that we'd rank right up there with our 60s favorites from Luiz Bonfa or Baden Powell! Yet there's also a difference here that nicely sets Hugo apart – a richness in tone that might come from his particular choice of guitar, or partly the very warm recording style – which captures all the resonance of his instrument in a beautiful way! There's just light rhythm backings on all tracks – a bit of percussion and bass – leaving Luiz to shade in most of the sound. Cuts include "Con Alma", "Days of Wine & Roses", "Tempo Feliz", "Tema Para Lili", "Primavera", "Minha Namorada", and "Canto De Ossanha". CD
P Trio —
Embalo ... CD Paladium/Ultra Vybe (Japan), Mid 60s. New Copy ...
A beautiful bit of lost bossa jazz from 60s Brazil – the only album we've ever seen by the P Trio, an enigmatic group recording in Belo Horizonte – hardly the same center of bossa nova as the beaches in Rio! The session's got a spare and lively feel – similar to work at the time by the Zimbo Trio or the Milton Banana Trio – heavily rhythmic piano in the lead, but played with some more traditional jazz inflections from time to time, and nicely skipping and light on the more uptempo numbers – and nice and moody on some of the mellower moments. The whole thing's great – as much a bossa trio gem as albums by much bigger groups – arrangements are by Aecio Flavio, and titles include "Pra Dizer Adeus", "Roda", "Rita", "Carinhoso", "Meu Refrao", and "Mascarada". CD
One of the more obscure bossa jazz sets of the 60s – played by the lively little Samba Trio, a group who definitely live up to their name! Don't mix these guys up with the early 80s combo from Europe – as this group plays with a hard-edge groove that's heavy on romping piano lines and snapping snare – in a mode that's like more famous 60s recordings from Brazilian groups like Milton Banana Trio or Tamba Trio! And like the latter, they also harmonize a bit with their instrumentation – not on every track, but at key moments that really give the record a wonderfully moody sound. Plus, their sense of color and tone is wonderful – extremely evocative, doing a heck of a lot with just a little – in the true bossa spirit! Titles include "Arrasto", "Nana", "So Tinha De Ser Com Voce", "Canto De Ossanha", "Preciso Aprender A Ser So", "Noa Noa", and "Reza". CD