Bandleader, songwriter, producer, arranger and superior solo artist, George Duke went in your ears many times, even if you did not noticed
Sometimes, when you hear a music so often on the radio, you could think you don’t wanna hear this anymore, but here it’s something else. This album is another kind, no matter how much you listen to it, the pleasure does not change !
About it, George Duke said : “This is one of my personal favorite records. It was a labor of love. I had always wanted to return to Brazil and record. So this is how it happened. I kind of forced my hand on this one. Because of the success the band was having in the R&B world, I asked Epic to let me take the band to Brazil and record an album with some of the great local musicians from the area. They hesitated, but eventually gave in to my request. What resulted is one of my favorite albums, and one which has stood the test of time. Many of my fans think this is my best record, and a good argument could be raised for that point of view.”
My idea was to take typical Brazilian rhythms and put my stamp on them with my current touring band. I wanted to work with Milton Nascimento, and I might add that I was thrilled when he said OK. I mostly worked with his rhythm section and intermixed them with mine. One regret I have is not using a young and as yet unknown singer, composer that I met on the beach in Brazil named Ivan Lins. Julie Sayres, who worked in the International department at CBS, was a real asset to this LP.
Her enthusiasm was one of the reasons it got off the ground. She is responsible for introducing me to Ivan, and everyone else I met down there. I never will forget the night that I had dinner at his home, and he and his then wife Lucinha (who sang backgrounds on the record) performed these amazing songs for hours. I already had the material for the record set, so I didn’t add any of his material. This was a mistake!
I love Brazil! There truly is music in the air. It seems to me that the people breathe music not air. Charles Johnson had left the band (after I gave him money to help buy a Volkswagen I might add) and I began using Roland Bautista on guitar, who eventually took Al McKay’s place with Earth, Wind & Fire. The actual recording process left a lot to be desired. I took Kerry McNabb, my long time engineer, with me.
When we arrived at the studio, none of the musicians were there. They slowly wandered in two, three hours later. I was furious, but after the first few notes were played, I learned to relax and go with the flow. Also, when Kerry wanted to splice some tape together, they gave him some scotch tape. Not only that, but we found out that the first several songs were recorded on used tape. Brazil was another world! I just wasn’t used to the way they operated. However, despite all, I had one of the most pleasant experiences of my career recording this record, also in 1979.