Former Late Night with David Letterman guitarist Hiram Bullock turns in one impressive session on this jazzy ten-track collection. As always, Bullock's guitar alternately sings gently and squalls with an almost rock-like intensity. The big surprise is that Hiram spices up his consummate picking with surprising vocal turns on "What You Won't Do for Love," "We're Gonna Get It Right," "Montevideo," the humorous "Bean Burrito," Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" and the title track. Bullock's impressive guitar chops are well to the fore throughout, even on the vocal numbers with bluesy and jazzy showcases on "Amazonas" and "And the Melody Lingers On (A Night In Tunisia)." With strong Latin percussion and a distinct salsa bent to the background framing Bullock's strong guitar work, this is a delightful album without a weak cut in the batch.
In the middle of June the village of Santo Antonio de Mixoes da Serra in the Valdreu region of Northern Portugal honours its Patron Saint with a very special festival. On this day the local farmers bring their animals to the church – cows, horses, dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits – to be blessed. This ancient tradition is passed from generation to generation, and today, just as hundreds of years ago, animals and people flock up the mountain roads to the church square to become a part of the religious festival. The film is about this miracle.
Chuck Mangione laid low throughout much of the '90s, perhaps the end result of a disappointing string of albums for Columbia during the '80s. He returned to the road in 1997 and evidently it was a positive experience, since he returned to the studio the following year to cut The Feeling's Back. For all intents and purposes, The Feeling's Back is a comeback album, finding Mangione returning to the smooth, melodic style of Feels So Good, but laying off the sappy pop tendencies that dogged his '80s efforts.
Passarim is Jobim's major statement of the '80s, emerging during a time when his concerns were turning increasingly toward the Planet Earth. The title song is one of Jobim's most haunting creations, a cry of pain about the the destruction of the Brazilian rain forest that resonates in the memory for hours. Also, by this time, Jobim had resumed touring with a large group containing friends and family, and they carry a great deal of the load here, with lots of airy female backup vocals, two worthy songs by Jobim's multi-talented son Paulo, and another by flutist/singer Danilo Caymmi.