Artists-Red Hot & Rio
latest of the Red Hot AIDS benefit albums, like the
first compilation Red Hot & Blue, Rio
features a group of current rock, rap and jazz
artists taking on the songbook of a classic
songwriter, this time father of the bossa nova
Antonio Carlos Jobim. So beyond being for a good
cause, it also turns out to be a long overdue
tribute to one of the brightest songwriters of the
One of the cool things about the album is
how well the songs fit into other genres. For
example, who would have thought Jobim's classic "The
Boy From Ipanema" would work as a new jack dance
tune by Crystal Waters. And who'd expect Beastie
Boys keyboardist Money Mark would do the jazzy
instrumental "Use Your Head" justice, but he does.
Other standouts include Everything But The Girl's
smooth take on "Corcovado," David Byrne's quirky
"Waters Of March" and Stereolab and Herbie Mann's
deconstruction of "One Note Samba."
One of the best
moments on the album is the last performance of Jobim himself (he died last year) as a duet with
Sting on the "How Insensitive," one of the saddest
ballads ever written, on the pain of being the focus
of unrequited love.
Red, Hot & Rio will no
doubt catch on the big with the nuevo-lounge scene.
It deserves to be heard by everyone. (12/96)
Jay S. Jacobs
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February 18, 2021.