Month: January 2012

Versions | Down The Backstairs of My Life

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Soul and groove musicians William D. Smith and Eric Mercury composed the song Down The Backstairs (of My Life) which they both recorded separately in their albums.  Smith (aka Smitty) would record the song in his A Good Feelin’ album in 1976 while Mercury would included it in his self-titled 1975 album, originally released in Toronto.    Sadly these albums have become particularly rare even on iTunes.
The song was covered by Joey Scarbury in the album America’s Greatest Hero.  Although the best version in Teki’s opinion is Kenny Rankin‘s.  The track was included in his album After The Roses.  This version has a fuller orchestration and elevates the melancholia associated with the song with a kind of hopeful plea.  A nice song as this new year has started and as one has tiptoed in the background of our lives. Read the rest of this entry »

Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 | 1st A&M album

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Throughout the years, Brazilian conductor, arranger and musician Sergio Mendes has elevated Latin Jazz to a whole new bossa nova plane, with a dash of funk.  Backed up with groups such as Brasil ’66, Brasil ’77 and Brasil ’88, Mendes has covered Antonio Carlos Jobim, the Beatles, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Stevie Wonder, Milton Nascimiento and a whole host of Latin artists.  He has also collaborated with artists such as Herb Alpert, guitarist John Pisano,  Alan & Marilyn Bergman, Dave Grusin, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, Michel Legrand and some newer artists such as the Black Eyed Peas and John Legend.
In a continuing series of blog entries, Teki will feature her favorite Sergio Mendes albums through the years.  And for starters, here’s their 1966 album Herb Alpert presents Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66.  Read the rest of this entry »