An amazing collection – every single Jorge Ben album recorded for Philips – one hell of a massive legacy in music, packaged here with a bonus CD of rare material too! The albums in the collection are the stuff of legend – amazing discs that forever changed the face of Brazilian music with Jorge's unique blend of samba and soul, plus a touch of funk as the 70s came on – and together, the music is a mindblowingly heavy batch of work that few other artists could ever match! Titles include Samba Esquema Novo, Sacudin Ben Samba, Ben E Samba Bon, Big Ben, Jorge Ben (1969), Forca Bruta, Negro E Lindo, Ben, 10 Anos Depois, A Tabua De Esmeralda, Solta O Pavao, Gil E Jorge, and Africa Brasil. Rarities disc is unique to this set, from what we can tell – and is filled with goodies too!
One of arranger Gil Evans's main talents was his ability to fuse diverse, unique performers into a unified ensemble. He accomplishes that on the first of two LPs taken from a pair of 1980 concerts, even if his presence is felt more than heard. Although Evans is on electric piano, he also employed two other synthesizer players (Masabumi Kikuchi and Pete Levin) in his eclectic band, which at the time included such notables as Lew Soloff, Jon Faddis and Hannibal Marvin Peterson on trumpets, altoist Arthur Blythe, trombonist George Lewis, baritone saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett and drummer Billy Cobham, among others. A lengthy "Anita's Dance" and a remake of "Gone, Gone, Gone" are the more memorable selections.
A leader of the Tropicalia movement in Brazil in 1967 and 1968, along with artists like Caetano Veloso and Gal Costa, Gilberto Gil and other musicians mixed native styles with rock and folk instruments. Because Gil fused samba, salsa, and bossa nova with rock and folk music, he's recognized today as one of the pioneers in world music. A multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter, Gil joined his first group, the Desafinados, in the mid-'50s and by the beginning of the '60s was earning a living as a jingle composer. Although known mostly as a guitarist, he also holds his own with drums, trumpet, and accordion.
Gil Evans released two records on World Pacific in 1958 and 1959. They were among his earliest dates as a leader. Gil Evans & Ten was issued by Prestige in 1957, but these dates stand out more. New Bottle, Old Wine was the first of the pair and the band included four trumpets, a trio of trombones, French horn (played by Julius Watkins), a pair of tubas, Cannonball Adderley as the lone saxophonist, and a rhythm section that included either Philly Joe Jones or Art Blakey on drums, Paul Chambers on bass, and Chuck Wayne on guitar.
Released in the year that Gil commemorated 20 years of career, this release has several rhythms with predominant Afro-Brazilian beats. The lyrics are again combative. After a vignette, the album opens with social criticism in the reggae "Barracos," the hit of the record. "Roque Santeiro, O Rock" is a rock about the urge of understanding the new generations and their iconoclastic preferences. "Seu Olhar" talks about love with a pop/blues beat. "Febril" has bossa nova in another song dedicated to social concerns. Pop and Afro-Bahian sounds propel "Touche Pas Á Mon Pote," where Gil highlights the importance of France through lyrics in French.