Q (9/94, p.121) - 3 Stars - "...the whole record has class to spare..."
Personnel includes: George Duke (vocals, vibraphone, acoustic & electic pianos, Fender Rhodes piano, keyboards, synthesizer, bells); Milton Nascimento (vocals, acoustic guitar); Josie James, Lynn Davis, Lucinha Lins, Flora Purim (vocals); Larry Williams (alto & tenor saxophones); Jerry Hey (trumpet, flugelhorn); Toninho Horta (acoustic & electric guitars); Byron Miller (bass); Ricky Lawson (drums); Roberto Silva (drums, talking drum, caxixi, agogo bells, apito, tamburin); Chico Batera (bongos, congas, rototom, triangle, reco, ganza, tamburin, chekere, caxixi, agogo bells, castanets, percussion); Sheila Escovedo (bongos, timbales, cowbell, caxixi, chimes); Airto Moreira (surdo, tambourine, shaker, percussion).
Producer: George Duke.
Reissue producer: John Snyder.
Recorded at Level E Hawai Recording Studio, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and Westlake Recording Studios, Los Angeles, California in March & April 1979. Includes liner notes by Scott H. Thompson.
Digitally remastered by Vic Anesini (Sony Music Studios, New York, New York).
This is part of the Contemporary Jazz Masters series.
By the time of A BRAZILIAN LOVE AFFAIR, keyboardist George Duke had largely left his jazz roots behind, opting to focus on producing R&B and pop albums, and while this 1979 outing nods to certain subtle elements of jazz, it essentially consists of funk and Brazilian pop. Recorded in both Los Angeles and Rio de Janeiro, the disc features a number of notable Brazilian artists, including singer/songwriter Milton Nascimento and percussionist (and famed Miles Davis sideman) Airto Moreira, and their presence informs the proceedings to varying degrees, the strongest impression being made on Nascimento's own "Cravo e Canela." In contrast, the opening title track is a slick R&B number replete with a prominent slap-bass line, while "Sugar Loaf Mountain" is a breezy keyboard workout gilded by exotic percussion. Those expecting an album's worth of either traditional Brazilian music or straight jazz may be disappointed; however, listeners willing go along with Duke on this eclectic, romanticized journey will find much to enjoy.