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Monday, October 20, 2014

Bossa Now! - Joe Harnell

Serenata
Bossa Now!
Joe Harnell
Produced By Mike Berniker
Arranged And Conducted By Joe Harnell
A Total Sound Experience
Columbia CS 9499
1967

Bossa Wow! A terrific space age Latin project that grabs you from the first track and won't let go. Lush, groovy, driving sound featuring Harnell's sparkling arrangements and keyboard work.

From the back cover: Bossa Now! is just that! The exciting difference is the "bossa" sound of today. Take, for instance, the unusual instruments Joe has brought together for this album and the way he uses them. There's the sitar, the indian stringed instrument. Until now, the sitar has been limited to background accompaniment in "rock" sessions. Recognizing the instrument's potential, Joe has brought the sitar front and center, giving it a beautiful melodic line and making it an integral part of the orchestra. You'll hear the haunting sound of the sitar featured in Serenata.

The bellzukie is another sound maker that has the freshness and vitality of today. With a musical range from the whine of a Honda to the mellowness of a cello, the amplified bellzukie come into its own in Blame It On The Bossa Nova. Credit for the Blame goes to Joe and his free-wheeling arrangement that pits the bellzukie against a brace of individually tuned bongos. Add to this the magnificent string section that has become a Harnell trademark and the exciting woodwind virtuosity of Phil Bodner and you have a great example of Harnell's gift for arranging and orchestrating an old standard into something new and exciting.

Just to make sure that Bossa Nova remember its heritage, several Brazilian instruments play a key part in the session. The cabaso is a beaded shaker that gives the group a subtle, insinuating snap. And there's the cuica, the metal drum that opens Un Poco Rio.


I also hear Vincent Bell's "water drop" guitar effect on one track.

Un Poco Rio
Guantanamera
So Soon
Serenata
So Nice
Music To Watch Girls By
Desafinado
A Man And A Woman
Blame It On The Bossa Nova
Bermuda Concerto
Spanish Flea

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