Marcos Valle & Stacey Kent ‎– Ao Vivo (2LP)
Marcos Valle & Stacey Kent ‎– Ao Vivo (2LP)
Marcos Valle & Stacey Kent ‎– Ao Vivo (2LP)
Marcos Valle & Stacey Kent ‎– Ao Vivo (2LP)

Marcos Valle & Stacey Kent ‎– Ao Vivo (2LP)

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Vocals – Stacey Kent [click here to see more vinyl featuring Stacey Kent]

Piano, Vocals – Marcos Valle

Tenor Saxophone – Jim Tomlinson

Trumpet, flugelhorn - Jessé Sadoc

Saxophone, flute - Marcelo Martins

Trombone - Aldivas Ayres

Guitar - Luiz Brasil

Acoustic bass - Alberto Continentino

Drums – Renato “Massa” Calmon

Written by Marcos Valle

2LPs, gatefold jacket

Original analog Master tape : YES

Heavy Press : 180g

Record color : Black

Speed : 33 RPM

Size : 12'’



Record Press : unspecified

Label : Pure Pleasure

Original Label : Sony Music

Recorded in Brazil in 2013

Remastered by Ray Staff at Air Mastering

Originally released in 2013

Reissued in 2015



Side A:

  1. The White Puma
  2. Look Who's Mine
  3. The Face I Love
  4. The Answer

Side B:

  1. Drift Away
  2. Summer Samba
  3. Gente
  4. Passa por Mim

Side C:

  1. Batucada (Batucada Surgiu)
  2. La Petite Valse
  3. If You Went Away

Side D:

  1. Pigmaliao 70
  2. The Crickets
  3. She Told Me, She Told Me
  4. My Nightingale



“As a teenager in the mid-Sixties, Marcos Valle was heavily influenced by the bossa nova music of his native Brazil. In 1963, this singer, pianist and composer released Samba Demais on the Odeon label. His follow-up album, O Compositor e o Cantor featured many hits among them, “Summer Samba”. His fellow Brazilians clamored to record his compositions. On the momentum of the Brazilian wave, he traveled to the United States and was involved in the earliest incarnation of Sergio Mendes’ Brasil ’66. Soon he recorded an album for Warner Brothers (Braziliance!) and did session work at Verve Records with Astrud Gilberto.

Valle returned to Brazil and collaborated there with Milton Nascimento. His work reflected political context and a variety of musical influences. He began to write for television, including soap operas and children’s shows. Valle experimented with musical structures and teamed up with a wide array of artists including Sarah Vaughan, Leon Ware and Chicago. He continues to perform and record in a variety of ensembles.

Sony Records released Marcos Valle & Stacey Kent Ao Vivo, in 2013 as a five-decade retrospective. Pure Pleasure Records has issued an audiophile double-LP vinyl remaster. Recorded in Brazil, these live performances feature the best of Valle’s compositions and arrangements. He is joined by a top-notch band, including jazz singer Stacey Kent. Side A opens with a jazzy piano intro that flows into smooth bossa nova groove. The flute (Marcelo Martins) and flugelhorn (Jesse Sadoc) have a gentle cinematic ambiance.  “Look Who’s Mine” features the silky high-register vocals of Kent. This slower-tempo number combines the arrangement skills with popular melodic themes. Valle’s piano is delicate and weaves around the ensemble gracefully. Moving to waltz-time (and near quintuple time), “The Face I Love” employs staccato orchestration and a tenor saxophone lead. Valle joins Kent on harmony in the second verse, and adds a concise piano run. “The Answer” feels like pure samba with its caressing rhythms and flow.

Each album side exemplifies the range of Valle as a composer and arranger. Side B has a soulful ballad, “Drift Away” with a bluesy saxophone solo. “Passa For Mim” is moody and complex and approximates a film noir resonance. Of course, the highlight is the quintessential, jaunty “Summer Samba” with blended instrumentation and English & Portuguese vocals (Kent and Valle respectively). There is an infectious confluence of jaunty tempo, vocal harmony and rhythm stops that is the essence of Brazilian music. The band is superlative and they all get to solo on the up tempo, “Gente”. This glowing, mostly instrumental piece is a crowd pleaser.

A change of pace highlights Side C. “Batacuda” has a syncopated dance vibe with accentuated rhythms in the verse. The chorus is more swaying. On “La Petite Valse” the arrangement has a winsome, lilting touch (with trumpet/flute shading) as Kent sings in French (her third language on the record). There is a signature shift to ¾ time. The lyrical “If You Went Away” translates like a cool jazz slow dance from the early sixties. The final side runs a gamut of styles. “Pigmailio 70” is finger-snapping world jazz with halting cadences and vocalese. The horn arrangements are muscular and Valle executes a deft solo. With a funky opening double bass riff (Alberto Contentino), “The Crickets” exudes an Afro-Cuban or Caribbean groove with sharp flute counterpoint and piquant saxophone lines. A rare duet (“She Told Me, She Told Me”) is an amenable pop tune with a quasi-classical piano intro. “My Nightingale” is lush pop with gossamer vocals and fluid saxophone.

Ao Vivo is an excellent live jazz album. The arrangements are layered and rich. The acoustics have studio intimacy. The instrumentation has full tonality, and the microphone levels of the instruments are balanced. Kent’s voice sounds pristine. The high-gloss gatefold packaging is luxurious. It is a fitting tribute to an important jazz composer/arranger.” John Sunier, Audiophile Audition, October 2015


“Shortly after Walter Wanderley released “So Nice (Summer Samba)” as a single in 1966, countless vocalists added it to their repertoire, and it quickly became a bossa nova classic. The breezy and catchy-as-Velcro chart-topper was composed by Marcos Valle, a prolific and versatile songwriter who soon began merging Brazilian music with rock, funk, soul, psychedelia, and just about every musical other style you could stuff into a song. The Light in the Attic label did the world a favor when, in 2012, it began reissuing some Valle albums from the early 1970s, hipping a new generation to the talents of a singer, band leader, instrumentalist, and songwriter whose compositions breathe the same rarified air as his greatest influence, Burt Bacharach. Ao Vivo pairs Valle with Stacey Kent, whose sweet, unaffected singing style proves that bossa nova can combine sophistication with girl-next-door charm. Originally released by Sony in 2013, this album was reissued on vinyl by Pure Pleasure Records in 2015. Remastered by Ray Staff at Air Mastering and pressed at Pallas in Germany, the 180-gram 2-LP live set stands out for its transparency and clarity. Valle is a brilliant arranger, his scoring of horns and wind instruments creating an impressionistic haze that is captured quite nicely in a natural-sounding recording with plenty of air. Sometimes reissue labels wait decades before they roll out the audiophile vinyl treatment, but in this case there was no reason to force listeners to wait—Au Vivo already feels like a classic.

It’s nice to see Marcos Valle getting his due, but what about the rest of the old guard, those musicians who helped create bossa nova or who, early on, helped reshape and popularize it? Some, of course, have passed away. Of the old masters who are still alive, the space between albums seems to be growing. We haven’t heard much lately from João Donato, Luis Bonfa, or Astrud Gilberto. The same can be said of João Gilberto, who continues to work and “tour” at his own pace (in other words, don’t hold your breath). The last time Gilberto was supposed to perform at Carnegie Hall—what would have been his first show in the U.S. in years—he announced, at the last minute, that there was some sort of snafu concerning travel regulations. That wasn’t his first cancellation, but you can bet that, should another North American date be set, true believers will once again clamor for tickets and make reservations to fly across the country. Sergio Mendes is a hit with a new generation of hipsters, his 2014 Magic a funky and lively collaboration with a stream of guests that include John Legend and Janelle Monáe. Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil are on tour together, and hopefully there will be documentation of that. Gil’s 2014 Gilbertos Samba and 2015 Gilbertos Samba Ao Vivo were both solid albums in the most bare-bones samba style. While listening to such lovely music, it’s worth remembering that, if things had gone just a little differently, bossa nova never would have happened. In Bossa Nova: The Story of the Brazilian Music That Seduced The World, Ruy Castro describes how João Gilberto played his guitar nonstop while searching for a sound he could imagine but which, for a long time, eluded him. Eventually he found it, and although Gilberto has never gone out of his way to conquer the music industry, somehow that sound spread. More than half a century later it’s clear that, while the world in general keeps getting louder, and more shrill, bossa nova continues to keep its cool.” Jeff Wilson, The Absolute Sound, March 2016


Ratings :

Discogs : 3.81 / 5

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