This album marked Djavan's association with American producers. After signing with CBS, he recorded this album in the U.S.A. (in Portuguese), which was produced by Ronnie Foster. For that occasion, Quincy Jones acquired the publishing rights of many of his songs through Djavan's own publisher Luanda. The album is divided between a romantic section and swinging tunes. "Pétala" and "Açaí" (pop ballads), "Nobreza," and "Banho de Rio" (orchestral canções) take charge of the romantic part. "Luz," "Capim," "Sina," "Samurai," "Esfinge," and "Minha Irmã" are the swinging segment. The interesting harmonies/melodies and the jazz-like arrangements of this section aroused interest for Djavan's music in the U.S.A. and some of these songs and others were recorded by Manhattan Transfer, among others.
Chronos Mundi was an apparently little-known Brazilian trio that released just the one album, Luz e Trevas, in 1999. This band admits influences of Pink Floyd, Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, King Crimson, Premiata Forneria Marconi, Jade Warrior and Genesis. They perform a refined, colourful and lyrical Progressive sung in Portuguese and English but there aren't many vocals. Their music has a largely pastoral feel and is highly melodic, much in the tradition of the many fine symphonic bands from Brazil.
A new and fresh musical project has just arrived from the heart of Mexico. Luz de Riada offers more than only music, their compositions share a concept which makes the listener create their own images and stories. Their musical style may be difficult to define and label due to the richness of sounds, in Luz de Riada you will listen to a wonderful mixture of jazz elements, experimental music, avant-garde and progressive rock (among others) that create an eclectic and very original sound. In 2011, they released their debut album entitled "Cuentos y Fábulas", which has received positive feedback from Mexican press and fans.
Rui was raised in Mozambique in a small village at the frontier of a mysterious river. Son of Portuguese colonists, his best friend is Ana, a black girl godchild of his mother. At fourteen he is confronted with the tragic destruction of his childhood and has to learn to recognize two distinct realities - the European and the African.
MEDINA AZAHARA plays song oriented rock with a few symphonic touches, strong Andalusian vocals, and lots of preening lead and rhythm guitars. The tracks range from hard rock to power ballads, not exactly an impressive range. In "El Hakim", the group threw in some fine Spanish guitar licks, but they are not to be found here. About half the tracks on the original CD re-release are at least mildly interesting, but none stand out : "A Toda Esa Gente", "No Quiero Pensar en ese Amor", "La Tierra Perdida", "Tu Mirada" would be in that category, and also adequately represent the limited stylistic breadth. One of the bonus tracks is an alternate version of the excellent "Otono" which originally appeared on "el Hakim". And at this point the group does appear to be recycling, in dire need of a new creative infusion. At this point almost any new direction would be welcome.
Jean-Marie Machado and Dave Liebman play together since 2003. Of this complicity were born two albums: Caminando (on 2008 - Pao Records) and Eternal Moments (on 2010 - Bee Jazz). In 2011, Jean-Marie Machado suggests to Dave Liebman inviting the German bugliste Claus Stötter and the string quartet Psophos; of this meeting was born the Media Luz project. An exceptional musical moment for a dialogue between a magnificent European composer and a great American soloist who draws us a jazzchamber mood.
Richard Galliano has recorded several tristesse fests in his time, but at his best he's a creative composer and improviser who has a gift for non-generic orchestration and who is at home with a variety of atmospheres and emotions, including the happy and the optimistic. Luz Negra, recorded with his Tangaria Quartet and his first studio album since 2001's Face To Face (Dreyfus Jazz), presents Galliano at his very best, and anyone with an aversion to accordion music would do well to check it out.