Rio de Janeiro Underground

ARTIST: Romero Lubambo
All Acoustic & Electric Guitar: Romero Lubambo
Flute & Alto Flute: Herbie Mann
Vocal & Keyboard: Ivan Lins Appears courtesy of Abril Music
Piano & Fender Rhodes: Cesar Camargo Mariano
and Dario Eskenazi
Bass: Sergio Brandáo and Paul Socolow
Drums: Ricky Sebastian and Mark Walker
Percussion: Cyro Baptista
Cavaquihno: Romero Lubambo
Bateria: GingaPura Nova York
Glenn Healy, Graham Nalle, Yasu Okkotsu,
Anthony Lebron, Vivian Warfield, Rico Carinci

Produced by Atsushi "SUSHI" Kosugi (Beat On Beat, Inc. NY)
Recorded at Bennett Studios, NJ & Knoop Recording, NJ
Recorded & Mixed by Roy Hendrickson
Mixed at Avatar Studios - Room R, NY
Assistant Engineer : Brian Dozoretz (Bennett Studios)
Mastered by Hiroshi Kawasaki (FLAIR) at Victor Studio

On this album, many guest artists are featured. Let's start with Ivan Lins. Ivan was born in 1945 in Rio de Janeiro. His fame rose as a singer songwriter in 1970 when the composition he wrote, called "Madalena," for Elis Regina, became a hit. Elis continued to perform songs written by him. Ivan Lins became known internationally when Quincy Jones started using his songs. On George Benson's Give Me the Night album (1980) produced by Quincy, the Lins compositions "Dinorah, Dinorah" and "Love Dance" were recorded. Even on Quincy Jones' album The Dude (1980), Lins' composition, "Velas" was recorded.

Herbie Mann, another prominent guest artist, was born in 1930 in New York. In '57, he recorded the classic album Yardbird Suite with Phil Woods. His own unique style started emerging in 1959 when he formed the Afro-Jazz Sextet. In 1961, he visited South America as an American Jazz Festival member and was heavily influenced by Brazilian music. The following year, he visited Brazil again to work with Sergio Mendes, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Baden Powell to record Do The Bossa Nova.

On keyboards, the featured artist is none other than Cesar Camargo Mariano. Mr. Mariano was born in Sao Paulo in 1943. He is one of the top producer / arranger in the Brazilian music scene. In the late 60's, he became known for producing Wilson Simonal, and later worked with top artists such as Elis Regina, whom he later married. From the late 70's until her last album recorded in 1980, Cesar gave her full support during her best years. Now, their son, Pedro Mariano has just released a new album from the Trama label and is garnering attention in Brazil.

Besides these great guest artists, other talented musicians join Romero in bringing you the best sounds from Rio de Janeiro.


  1. She Walks This Earth
    Romero's album opens with a song from the Ivan Lins tribute album, "A Love Affair: The Music of Ivan Lins." This tribute album featured various artists covering Ivan Lins songs, but this particular song was freshly written specifically for Sting to perform. The song also happens to be a favorite of both Romero and Herbie Mann. Listen to the relaxed performances amidst the groovy atmosphere in this version.
  2. Easy Going
    This song was written by Ivan Lins specifically for this album. The chord progressions that he uses is distinctly Lins. It is thrilling to hear Romero's guitar and Ivan's vocals organically play off each other.
  3. Rio de Janeiro Underground
    The track title is a play on Herbie Mann's classic "Memphis Underground" (1969). The song was written imagining downtown Rio. You get the pleasurable sense of walking in your hometown.
  4. For Donato
    This song is dedicated to Brazil's famous composer, Joao Donato, who is now in his 70's. According to Romero, the song had a Donato feel and thus the title. Romero plays electric guitar on the melody and acoustic guitar for his solo for playful contrast. Also, Cesar adds to the mix with his Fender Rhodes playing. This track is performed by the quartet consisting of Romero, Cesar, Sergio Brandao on bass, Mark Walker on drums.
  5. Aparecida
    A passionate classic by Ivan Lins classic. Ivan performs this song in his concerts frequently. Herbie Mann did a cover of the song in '90, and he turns in a heartfelt flute performance here as well.
  6. Cornfield
    As the title suggests, this number was written visualizing cornfields of Brazil. You can hear from the rhythms, some influence from the northeastern region of Brazil. Romero uses a palette of sounds from nylon strings & steel strings on acoustic guitar to synthesizer guitar.
  7. Dipper Mouth
    Herbie Mann's original composition. This song is performed frequently when Romero plays live with Herbie. New Orlean's drummer, Ricky Sebastian is featured. He brings the distinct second line rhythm from his hometown.
  8. Estrela Guia
    Lead vocals by Ivan Lins. According to Romero, Ivan wrote the song 5 years ago for the great composer / singer Milton Nascimento. It was recorded once but no one has recorded it since. Ivan wanted to reintroduce the song to the public through this album because it is so lovely.
  9. Sweeping the Chimney
    A samba tune with a funny title. You can hear Romero's guitar ride the percussive rhythms. The track features percussionist Cyro Baptista, who has performed with artists such as John Zorn, Marc Ribot, and Cassandra Wilson.
  10. Leblon
    Leblon is a district next to Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro. Both Leblon and Ipanema are famous for their beaches. The track brings a taste and feel of the beach.
  11. Avenida Central
    New York's samba band, Jinga Pura New York, was invited to participate in this track. The track was written to recreate the excitement and anticipation Romero felt as a child when a samba band approached on the streets.
  12. Nira
    Nira is short for Ilvanira, Romero's mother's name. The album closes with a beautiful ballad by Romero and Herbie leaving you with a warm feeling.

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