Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

George Duke - A Brazilian Love Affair (1980)


Austrian Import

When George Duke died in August 2013, I realized that I didn't own any of his albums, although he appears as a guest artist on many of the albums in my collection, including Hollywood, Breakin' Away, and Off The Wall.  Duke was a frequent collaborator with bassist Stanley Clarke.  The two found Top 40 chart success in 1981 with the West Coast/AOR single Sweet Baby that peaked at #19 on the Billboard Hot 100.  A quick perusal of the Internet indicated that A Brazilian Love Affair was one of Duke's most popular albums, so I included it in an order later that year.  I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it in 1980, but within a few years I was listening to this sort of instrumental pop/smooth jazz music quite regularly.

Starting in the late '70s, musicians started to attempt to bring an increased US awareness to Brazilian MPB music.  Brazilian sounding albums were produced by Paul Simon, The Manhattan Transfer, David Byrne, Pat Metheny, and, most notably, guitarist Lee Ritenour on his albums Rio, Festival, and Harlequin.  This album is a mix of pop, jazz, and Brazilian music.  As described by Duke:
It is not a pure Brazilian recording but rather a blend of Brazilian musical concepts with the diverse musical ideas of my mind. For most of the selections, I have intermixed Brazilian artists with American artists to achieve a true fusion of the styles - I love disparity!
With plenty of exceptional solo turns, this makes a great pairing with any of the aforementioned Ritenour albums. Highly enjoyable, I wish I had discovered it sooner.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #119
Peak on Billboard's Jazz LPs chart: #4
Peak on Billboard's R&B albums chart: #40 
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #115

Tracks:  Of the Duke originals, my favorites are the title track, Brazilian Sugar, Love Reborn, I Need You Now,  plus the two songs written by Brazilian singer/songwriter Milton Nascimento, Cravo E Canela and Ao Que Vai Nascer. 

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None

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