Black Orpheus @ CPAC ~ Red Clay Trio w/Eric Mellan

Special thanks:

I want to extend a special thanks to Clarence Boykins and the Tucson Jazz Society for hosting this concert at CPAC – Community Performance and Arts Center. 

Red Clay Trio w/Eric Mellan:

The Red Clay trio consists of myself, Tess RedMoon on Flute and Vocals, Kathy M Frank on drums, and Ken Barry on bass. In this concert we are joined by Eric Mellan on guitar.

Luis Bonfa’s tune Black Orpheus – or Manha de Carnaval:

This tune, Black Orpheus, or as it’s known by it’s original title  – Manha de Carnaval is written by Luis Bonfa. It is one of my favorites and has been on my tune list for longer than I can remember.

Luis Bonfa worked with several American Jazz greats such as Quincy Jones, Stan Getz, George Benson, Frank Sinatra, and even Elvis Presley sang one of his songs – “Almost in Love”

The movie Black Orpheus:

This song was written for the movie “Black Orpheus” or “Orfeu Negro” . The movie is an adaptation of the Greek myth of “Orpheus and Eurydice” as reimagined in the modern context of a “favela” in Rio De Janeiro. The film was made in Brazil in 1959 by the French movie director, Marcel Camus.

I saw the film ~ it was a sweetly poignant romantic tragedy. I loved it!

Bossa Nova in the world:

The film claims to have introduced Bossa Nova to the world! Plus the film garnered an Oscar Award.

This version opens with an extended rubato flute solo:

In this version, I open the piece with an extended, rubato flute solo to set the tone. Then I bring in the rest of the band with a foot tapping samba rhythm. We take turns on the solos with Eric adding a particularly cool tone on his guitar! To me it sounds like he added a tropical steel drum sound to his guitar – awesome sauce!

This tune is primarily in A minor with some cool twists, especially in the “B” section. The ending brings the tune to a poignant end, with a figure that, to me, represents longing and desire.

Enjoy! Thank you for watching!

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