Arthur Verocai — ‘Encore’

In 1972, Brazil was going through its eighth year of the infamous, but unfamiliar to the common world, Placa Militar — Military Board in English. There was no violent transition to power when Castelo Branco took to the nations Presidential Office, instead, he found himself riding waves of support from those who considered themselves nationalist and those that had been misled from the Brazilian TV network, Rede Globo; which still to this day continuously faces criticism for its support of the Placa Militar and its links to corruption.

Nevertheless, within the seventies, Rede Globo had hired a new Musical Director who had previously worked as a civil engineer and was now tasked with composing the arrangements for many of their TV shows and advertisements. The choice, for any individual, would be exemplary — if it was a different decade perhaps. For years the Placa Militar were fearful of a youth uprising linked to artistic expression, they were so fearful they’d sent popular Tropicália legends Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso to live in exile in London.

For the musical director in Rede Globo, named Arthur Verocai, he was going to discover why the year 1972 wasn’t the greatest of years to be releasing music. He released his self-titled debut with little interference from the military government, however, it didn’t fare too well despite its brilliance and Verocai headed back into the world of advertising and musical directing. Thirty years later, when the Placa Militar had long been confirmed dead, he released his next LP, which again wasn’t the greatest piece of Bossa Nova in existence due to its production.

Then came 2007’s ‘Encore’, with co-written tracks with the Jazz-Funk legends Azymuth and the Brazilian Jazz Icon, Ivan Lins. Included was thirty-five years of gap-filling and time making, a mighty combination of American soul, jazz, bossa nova as well as a return to the traditional Tropicália, concluding in a true, long-awaited return from Verocai; his second LP didn’t compare to the sheer brilliance of Encore. And with the nine-stringed section, it is hard to even imagine any other bossa nova masterpiece that ‘Encore’ could compete with.

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