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Zazueira - A Perennial Favorite

Harry

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My 45 of "Zazueira" has a weird font for the title. It's a Columbia Pitman pressing that also misspells "Jorge Ben" with a "q".

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lj

Well-Known Member
When you have a song written by the great Brazilian, Jorge Ben (of Mas Que Nada, Chove Chuva and Pais Tropical fame), and co-arranged by Herb Alpert and West Coast jazz great Shorty Rogers, you can't find a better combination than that. I put Zazueira easily in my half-dozen favorite TJB songs.
 

lj

Well-Known Member
I REALLY like Bossa Rio. One highlight for me this year was the posting on this website of Bossa Rio performing live from the Playboy channel. And yes, Zazueira was one of their splendid songs on that show.
 

lj

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I have this song from Ben's (now known as BenJor to avoid confusion with George Benson) "Acustico" DVD. I got this DVD some dozen years ago. It has has all his hits on it. And he has a long interview as well, as an extra treat. He wrote so many musical gems that they are just too many to count. Caetano Veloso is in total awe of Ben's musical talent. I totally agee. And all the versions of Zazueira posted here are fabulous.
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
I too Love Zazueira I first heard it in 1980 when I Got "Greatest hits volume 2" on vinyl it was a different Tijuana brass sound than I was familiar with at the time at age 13 You could say this song along with Sergio Mendes was my gateway introduction to Brazilian music albeit a subtle one at the time
 

rockdoctor

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Really digging this underrated gem, as I have done since 1969.

This song was great to hear on the radio back in 1969. It got a lot of airplay on the stations that I was listening to at the time.
it is my favorite TJB that was released as a single. Warm is my favorite TJB album.
This plus Crystal Illusions and The Age of Aquarius would be my top albums picks for 1969 as
all three had songs burning up the airwaves on AM radio.
 
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Rudy

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Here's an interesting, if unusual, version of "Zazueira" in a mash-up with "Mas Que Nada" by Azymuth (a Brazilian jazz fusion group) with Marcos Valle. Recorded in 1972, presumably released as part of a promotion for a Brazilian airline.

 

Harry

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Okay, so where does "Zazueira" by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass sound best?

The versions I have on my computer are these:

GREATEST HITS VOL.2
WARM 2007 m4A at 260kbps (from Shout/itunes)
WARM 2012 mp3 at 320kbps (from Herb's website at the time)
WARM 2016 CD from Herb Alpert Presents
WARM LP needledrop
Zazueira mono 45 needledrop

Listening to all of these, I think the winner is probably either the LP needledrop or the GREATEST HITS VOL.2. Both of these are not maximized and can be turned up without distortion or fatigue.

Far and away the worst, sadly, is the one and only CD from Herb Alpert Presents. Something nasty must have happened to the master. The first 30 seconds or so are muffled and left-channel-heavy. At around :30, the right channel suddenly pops in and it doesn't sound too bad thereafter, but it's not a good total version.

In 2007, WARM was released through iTunes and Shout! factory. We were all disappointed that it wasn't a CD and here "Zazueira" sounds a little bass-heavy to me, bit overall not too bad. These were m4a files at 260kbps, and were just a touch maximized so there's some smashing (compression) at the loud parts.

That 2007 mastering was probably used for the 2012 release of mp3 files on Herb's website. The same amount of compression and bass is heard on this version. Overall, not terrible sounding. Some may like the increased bass. As to which of these compressed file codecs sound better - it's a toss-up as far as I'm concerned. The mp3's are at 320 kbps and the m4a's are at 260 kbps. Take your pick.

Then there's the old vinyl. If you can find a nice clean copy of WARM on vinyl, you'll probably find something at least as good as the GREATEST HITS VOL.2 version on CD. The 45 version is the mono mix.

Anyone have any different opinions or versions?
 

Rudy

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Here ya go. Wilson Simonal:


Elis Regina gave it a try also:


I can almost hear Edu Lobo singing a version of this, but I don't see any recording he's ever done of this single.
 

jazzdre

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I really like "Zazueira"; it's very happy sounding and a great feel good tune. I also like Jorge Ben's live version of his tune which Dan posted, but that version is very funk flavored(which I like!) I must confess I haven't heard any other versions of this song, but -oh wait a minute!- I did hear Astrud Gilberto's version before Rudy posted it, but it doesn't have the same flavor that Jorge or Herb's versions have.Different strokes, I guess.

By the way, Rudy who hasn't heard of Azymuth, especially if they come on this website? I remember hearing them back in 1983 when I was just starting to get into jazz as a mere teenager! They were a great group, and their music was very calming and soothing. However, to my ears, this is like a synthesized muzakish style that they employed that suits the department stores or elevators, but like you said Rudy, it was used as a promotion for a Brazilian airline company. Now if somebody can translate the lyrics, please. A lot of us aren't Brazilian, y'know-smile-
 

jazzdre

Well-Known Member
P.S. : I am now listening to Astrud's version to refresh my memory, and I see that this is a collaboration between her and Stanley Turrentine! To me(again) even though the great Stanley did this album with her, this is still something of a lackluster effort concerning this tune. Sounds quite frankly also again, musakish to me. Don't get me wrong-Stanley's playing is great, but to my ears, this collaboration didn't work out; was mismatched. But that's just my opinion!
 

Rudy

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By the way, Rudy who hasn't heard of Azymuth, especially if they come on this website? I remember hearing them back in 1983 when I was just starting to get into jazz as a mere teenager!
"Papasong" got a lot of airplay on our local jazz radio station--they programmed a lot of fusion, and this fit right in. I'd forgotten about it for decades until someone played it at an audio show a couple of years ago.
 
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