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Samba Is Our Gift


2006 release. Far Out Recordings present The Ipanemas's latest opus, Samba Is Our Gift. Combining Afro-Brazilian-bossa grooves with classic vocal samba, Samba Is Our Gift is a step back in time to 1960s Rio de Janeiro, and as is dedicated to its namesake, samba, the national past-time of Brazil. The Ipanemas are Wilson Das Neves and Neco. Wilson is one of Brazil's most prolific drummers whilst Neco is an unassuming genius of bossa nova guitar. Wilson and Neco were instrumental in breaking bossa nova in Brazil back in the 1950s, and in the decades since then they have recorded with all the Brazilian legends including Elis Regina, Tom Jobim, Wilson Simonal, Chico Buarque and Elza Soares. Their debut album Os Ipanemas was recorded in Rio in 1964 for CBS, yet, the follow up wasn't recorded until almost 40 years later in 2001 with The Return Of The Ipanemas for Far Out Recordings. This was so popular, that a follow up Afro Bossa was recorded two years later, yet it is in Samba Is Our Gift, their third album for Far Out Recordings, where they deliver their most impressive, diverse and arresting album to date. The Afro-sambas that are the Ipanemas trademark sound are ever present, yet there are also four fine examples of samba-cancao ("sung-samba") featuring Wilson on vocals. Incredibly, Wilson only stepped out of the shadows of the drum-kit and up to the mic in 1997, yet here is a man who, at the drop of a note, can take us back to the glory days of samba-cancao. Yet, it is not only Wilson's amazing vocals that have helped take this album to the next level, but also the arrangements which sound much more confident that on previous efforts - the use of strings on tracks such as "Valsamba" and "Imperial" really do take us back to the golden days of the great Brazilian orchestras where Neco and Wilson learnt their trades. This is the tour de force of Samba Is Our Gift - its ability to invoke this sense of sixties Rio de Janeiro, of hip jazz spots and late-night jam sessions. Samba Is Our Gift sees them revisiting this wildly creative time, yet now playing this music with the musical experience of seasoned veterans. There is never likely to be a group of musicians capable of causing such a spell ever again.