US Classics with a Brazilian Touch
This is not the first time that Tom Lellis tastes Brazilian music. In 2003, he released the nice Southern Exposure in which he sang some Brazilian songs by Djavan, Tom Jobim and Toninho Horta. Toninho himself was guest in that album.
In this new album, Tom Lellis (piano, vocals, percussion) basically chose a classic North American repertoire from the Silver Screen and Stage. Thanks to the special participation of Toninho Horta on guitar and vocals, the album is so Brazilian flavored that you will at times forget these songs do not come from Brazil. Well, there is the exception of Jobim’s “Dindi.”
“Maybe September” gets a fast tempo Bossa arrangement that is just perfect for that song and Tom’s velvety voice. Tom is full of charisma and sensuality. It’s a great opener with Toninho’s guitar accompaniment giving the song its new found genre. Some songs work better than others in this Brazilian environment. Though I am a fan of Cole Porter’s music done in Brazilian arrangements, the result for “In the Still of the Night” did not quite thrill me. On the other hand, “I Love You” is gorgeous. Toninho Horta does his trademark wordless vocals while Tom accompanies him on the piano. “Dindi,” the only real Brazilian song in the repertoire is sung by both artists, with Tom doing the English lyrics and Toninho singing in Portuguese. The introduction using “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face” is very effective in this arrangement. Quite a nice arrangement!
Tom Lellis’ sensual voice and phrasing is a winner in the end. He takes full advantage of Toninho Horta’s soothing guitar accompaniment and solos to bring Tonight to a pleasing result.
Tom Lellis & Toninho Horta
Adventure Music AM1044 2 (2008)
Total time: 55’39”
- Maybe September (Percy Faith – Jay Livingston – Ray Evans)
- Dindi (Antonio Carlos Jobim – Ray Gilbert – Aloysio de Oliveira) – incidental music: I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face (Frederick Loewe – Alan Jay Lerner)
- An Infinite Love (Infinite Love) (Toninho Horta – Tom Lellis)
- My Romance (Richard Rodgers – Lorenz Hart)
- Let’s Face the Music and Dance (Irving Berlin) – incidental music: Without a Song (Vincent Youmans)
- In the Still of the Night (Cole Porter)
- Fly Me to the Moon (Bart Howard)
- Tonight (Leonard Bernstein – Stephen Sondheim)
- Dreamwaking (Nos Tempos de Paulinho) (Toninho Horta – Tom Lellis)
- Three for Marie (3/4 Marie) (Tom Lellis)
- The Nearness of You (Hoagy Carmichael – Ned Washington)
- Summertime (George Gershwin – DuBose Heywood)
- I Love You (Cole Porter)
- Over the Rainbow (Harold Arlen – E.Y. Yip Harburg)