Brazilian percussionist Naná Vasconcelos’s Saudades album, recorded in March 1979, was the culmination of a dream for a musician who had long yearned to hear the berimbau in an orchestral context. This ‘concerto’ for an innovative player of a traditional instrument was made possible with the creative input of Egberto Gismonti, here the arranger of the material for strings, as well as co-composer and supporting soloist. The Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart was conducted by Mladen Gutesha (who had worked with ECM previously on trans-idiomatic projects with Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek and Terje Rypdal). Produced by Manfred Eicher, Saudades remains an extraordinary journey, an ahead-of-its-time album, waiting for the world to catch up. This vinyl reissue, in gatefold sleeve, adds new liner notes providing historical context and background information.
Nana Vasconcelos (Berimbau, Percussion, Voice, Gongs)
Egberto Gismonti (Super 8-String Guitar)
Members of the RSO Stuttgart (Orchestra)
Mladen Gutesha (Conductor)
March 1979, Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg