||Galvanised by a passion for soul, jazz, funk, folk, and Brazilian samba, Judith Ravitzâ€™s Bolerio (in Hebrew, Yehudit Ravitz â€“ ??? ????) brilliantly reimagines the music of the Brazilian legend Jorge Ben. Increasingly sought-after, housing as it does her seminal take on â€œDia De Indioâ€ â€“ often re-edited and sampled, bootlegged but never bettered â€“ itâ€™s a uniquely thrilling LP in its own right.
The year is 1983, and Ravitz discovered that Jorge Ben was touring Israel with his crack backing band A Banda Do ZÃ© Pretinho. After joining her in the studio, the ensemble reinvented a selection of Benâ€™s killer tracks that the band regularly performed. On Bolerio â€“ â€œcome to Rioâ€ - Ravitz handed them equal billing as they aided a recontextualization of Benâ€™s music for an audience that was barely aware of him.
These versions are by no means straight re-treads. Far from it. The highlights are many and memorable. The aforementioned â€œDia De Indioâ€, a strutting, electronic samba-funk with stabbing bass and fluid arrangements, sounds so current and fresh that itâ€™s hard to believe itâ€™s now 35 years old. Its vibrant ambience has been likened to the wiry dubbiness of King Sunny Adeâ€™s Synchro System and itâ€™s easy to see why. Indeed, the electro elements add a futuristic feel that the original could never comfortably possess.
Undeniably rocking more furiously than Benâ€™s versions, the album begins with a throbbing take on â€œBoiadeiroâ€, the opener from Benâ€™s Salve Simpatia. Ravitz flows wonderfully whilst the band get busy, introducing a heaviness and complexity absent from the original, as wild bass blends with an intensity to the guitar playing thatâ€™s quite stunning.
Ravitzâ€™s cover of the infamous â€œTaj Mahalâ€ incorporates the lush Brazilian boogie of the time
whilst â€œSanta Claraâ€, already a standout from Bem Vinda Amizade, is morphed into a deep electronic groove. Lent an airiness by this arrangement, the track benefits from Ravitzâ€™s exquisite range and floats by on a bed of warm keys to conjure a gorgeous melodic melancholy throughout.
The timeless â€œQue Penaâ€ from Benâ€™s classic self-titled LP, released in 1969, gets an injection of warm Israeli funk that eschews the downbeat vibe of the original. Led by an electric piano, A Banda Do ZÃ© Pretinho elevate the track and turn it into a weighty samba boogie. So substantial is this take, it effectively renders Benâ€™s version to that of a bare bones sketch. Equally, the beautifully mournful piano and plaintive horns that grace â€œQue Maravilhaâ€, coupled with Ravitzâ€™s vocal phrasing of spine-tingling clarity, contribute a depth of feeling and longing that hit hard.
Weâ€™ve pressed just 500 copies of this gem with strictly no option for repress. The iconic artwork has been beautifully restored throughout, and includes a printed inner sleeve. Remastered from the original tape transfers by Simon Francis, itâ€™s been pressed at 180g for the first time.
REMASTERED FROM ORIGINAL TAPE TRANSFERS, CAREFULLY REPRODUCED ORIGINAL ART, STRICTLY LIMITED TO 500 COPIES WORLDWIDE â€“ NO REPRESS