Joyce with Maruicio Maestro – Natureza


There have been tons of ‘lost’ albums that don’t quite live up to the expectations or legend associated with them. Natureza is one of those, if not necessarily legendary albums, it certainly remained a grail for those who follow Brazilian music. The album was recorded in 1977, when single Joyce Moreno met producer Claus Ogerman in NY on a visit to the city. While the German producer had a storied career, with contributions to albums by Bill Evans, Solomon Burke, and Stan Getz, he’s probably most known for working with Antônio Carlos Jobim, and this spirit informs his album with Joyce. An album was recorded, but due to quite a few scheduling conflicts and missed opportunities, never released, save for two tracks that showed up on compilations over the years. Those two tracks, “Feminina,” and “Descompassadamente” were mixed by Al Schmitt, but the rest of the tracks here were sourced from an unmixed copy that Joyce kept herself, giving the album a bit of an uneven sound, but not so much that it detracts from the enveloping sounds of the songs themselves.

It’s unfortunate that timing, a bit of an end to the US fascination with Brazil, and temperament, Olgerman’s fiddling with finishing touches, brought the album to a standstill. This, plus a disagreement over adding English lyrics to the record, which Joyce found out of touch with her intentions, sealed this record away from listeners until now. Though, I have to say, even with the uneven mixing, this is an album that might have soared into listeners’ hearts had it been completed just a few years earlier. Moreno’s songs are gorgeous and lighthearted. Olgerman’s production is every bit as luxurious as his best offerings. Given none of the context, none of the drama surrounding the record, these recordings would still stand out as lovely and vital pieces of Brazilian music’s past. That it took this long to get them into our lives is a shame, but the world is certainly better off with this issue from Far-Out.

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