Jazz Està Morto: Arthur Verocai
Arthur Verocai began his professional music career in 1969 as music director and guitar player for the show ‘É a maior.’ That same year he wrote orchestra arrangements which were presented in the music festivals of Porto Alegre and Sao Paulo for the first time. Over the next few years he was responsible for the orchestration of albums by Ivan Lins, Jorge Ben, Elizeth Cardoso, Gal Costa, Quarteto em Cy, MPB 4 and Marcos Valle among others.
In the 1970s he was hired by Brazil’s biggest TV station TV Globo as musical director where he wrote the arrangements for many of the stations biggest shows.
Following his success Arthur had with the production of Ivan Lins 1971 album Agora Arthur recorded his self-titled debut album on Continental Records. A forbidding Brazilian military dictatorship frowned on artistic impression that repressed the youth of the country. He challenged the musical conventions of the day combining Brazilian influences with folksy soul and lo-fi electronic experimentations of American artists like Shuggie Otis or the orchestration of producer Charles Stepney. His subtle protest experimented with new musical directions and used figurative language to sneak under the censorship radar..
Today this album is a cult and has been sampled by many US producers, singers and artists. The idea of mixing strings with contemporary sounds came from my desire of searching for new paths.
Back in 2009, we brought Arthur Verocai’s record to life again, with the help of a lot of friends. After the concert that night, Cut Chemist declared, “that was one of the best shows L.A. has ever seen.”
For the supporters who have been with us since the beginning, then they recall back in 2009 when ArtDontSleep curated a TIMELESS experience with the Brazilian God, so bringing him back this time around was even more special. He was the first out of the series to be willing to give us two back to back shows that were both sold out. After the first show was over, Ali and Adrian urged the audience to stay for the second one, and that resulted in a swarm of Arthur Verocai fans at the box office so that they could relive the magic all over again.
We packed the Lodge Room stage with a 30 piece band featuring some of the most talented musicians, we even had Brandon Coleman on the keys! This was hands down the premier sonic experience ever executed at this venue, and it left us all mesmerized. It was all out of a dream; from the beautiful Brazilian vocalists, mixed with all of the live instrumentation, Arthur continued to remind us just how important his legacy is to music and why its necessary for us to keep it thriving.
By the end of the second show, it was already past Midnight which then we had the honor of ringing in Arthur’s 74th birthday. Even though he didn’t want any surprises, we couldn’t help ourselves, and all of the fans gave him all the love in the world. Thanks again #LA for making this yet another timeless event. One last hoo-ra with the original Rio beach boy (Marcos Valle) happening next week!