Track 1. “Brazilica” honors the Africa-Brazil-Chicago Jazz and R&B connection.
Originally recorded in 1976 by Chicago legend Ramsey Lewis and produced by Earth, Wind & Fire maestros Charles Stepney and Maurice White, this classic ‘70s recording featured master musicians channeling African and Brazilian music influences through the Chicago jazz and R&B prism of the old Chess Records proving ground.
For the 2017 version, producer Hebert brought Ms. Jackson together with his Chicago contemporaries: bassist Darryl Jones and maestro Charles Floyd (considered an heir-apparent to Stepney) conducting Rio de Janeiro's The Bossa Nova Noites Orquestra, which wad assembled by Hebert to record the six orchestral tracks on the album. He teamed Jones with Brazilian greats Teo Lima, Armando Marcal, Ricardo Silveira, Marco Brito, Marcelo Martins and Jesse Sadoc, then asked Larry Williams to channel Chicago jazz on tenor sax. Ms. Jackson led her star vocal ensemble for the album: Chris Walker, Darryl Tookes and Curtis King on vocals; and, finally, Hebert asked Stepney-White protégé, Larry Dunn to complete the re-imagined vision on both synthesizer and kalimba, in a fitting, final tribute to his two mentors.
“Brazilica” debuted on the U.S. smooth jazz charts several weeks ago, and has been #1 most added in this radio format.
Track 2. “Girl from Ipanema” honors the 1965 height of Bossa Nova – with Ms. Jackson performing in both Portuguese and English.
Ms. Jackson made a global debut during the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 9 concerts. Those included joining The Jobim Trio at the Espaço Tom Jobim, shows at the France Olympic House, German Olympic House, U.S. Olympic House and Japan Olympic House, making an appearance on the NBC Today Show, and presenting a special show at the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro’s International Media Center – home to 7,000 journalists from 103 countries. Ms. Jackson’s “Chicago-Samba Funk” version of the iconic “The Girl from Ipanema” has Jackson performing with her ensemble of Brazilian all-stars – on this track: Marco Brito, Teo Lima, Max Viana, Ricardo Silveira, Pretinho da Serrinha, Arthur Maia, Marcelo Martins, Aldivas Ayers, and featured trumpeter Jesse Sadoc.
Track 3. “Sonho Meu” signals the end of the 100th year celebration of Samba.
Ms. Jackson is joined by 96 year old Samba icon Dona Ivone Lara, with Max Viana (whose father Djavan previously recorded the song with Dona Ivone) and emerging Samba star Pretinho da Serrinha.
Track 4. “Turns Your Heart Around” honors the beginning of Bossa Nova.
Ms. Jackson is joined by Chris Walker and Larry Williams – with Ms. Jackson and Mr. Walker performing a duet of the 1st ever recording of the English lyric to the Oscar Castro-Neves 1956-penned classic: “Chora Tua Tristeza.”
Track 5. “Forca da Imaginacao” signals Samba’s next 100 years.
Ms. Jackson is again joined by Dona Ivone Lara and Pretinho da Serrinha showing a way forward with Samba, this time with Rio de Janeiro-based star producer and bassist Arthur Maia, guitar legend Ricardo Silveira, Max Viana, and Marcelo Camargo Mariano.
Track 6. “Our Time Now” (song co-written by Rod Temperton and Lionel Richie).
Ms. Jackson honors the spirit of this project and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics with the great Mr. Temperton’s final production. The track features Mr. Temperton, with Siedah Garrett, Chris Walker, and Brazil legend percussionist Armando Marcal from the great Portela Samba School in Rio de Janeiro.
Track 7. “Brazilica” Full Version.