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Chris Conway - Chocolate Bossa
 
Chris Conway Chocolate Bossa


1
Starting Over

2

Tiny Sparrow

3

Deep Space Bossa
4
Time To Talk
5
Still Believe In The Masterplan
6
Cactus Cafe
7
The Answer
8
Love At First Light
9
Vanita's Groove
10
The Missing Years
11
Chocolate Bossa
12
Samba 66
13
The End



Chris Conway -
vocals, piano, keyboards, nylon string guitar, electric & acoustic 9 string guitars, tin & low Irish whistles, bamboo flute, theremin, kalimba, samples, loops, electronic and acoustic percussion
Neil Segrott - fretless bass
Zorpinda Zorpin - percussion, temple bells

+ special guests
Ithamara Koorax - vocals - 7
Thiago De Mello - acoustic percussion - 7






Ithamara Koorax
Ithamara Koorax




Thiago De Mello

Thiago DeMello

 


Chris Conway
An exotic selection of bossas and latin jazz.
Acoustic bossa songs, electronica, jazz, retro, electro beats, and fusion. This album earned an International Jazz Award nomination for best male vocal performance (Latin/Afro-Cuban section).


background
Three years in the making, Chocolate Bossa is Chris Conway's amazing musical love letter to Brazil. Featuring guest artists Brazilian jazz diva Ithamara Koorax and percussion master Thiago DeMello (recorded in Brazil) on one track, this album has all the remarkable Conway hallmarks - the lush instrumentation, the cool arrangements and wonderful varied compositions including influences from his unparalleled musical experience in many genres.

Latin music is a thread that can be traced through much of CCs music over the years, something he puts down to his earliest influence - "When I was 10, I had hippy older brothers - one was at Woodstock (though he can't remember much about it!) - I picked up a lot of music that was floating around the house. My first 4 albums I bought were Santana albums - from there I heard Flora Purim & Airto, Chick Corea and more recently Marcos Valle and Ithamara Koorax. Like Celtic music and jazz, Latin music got in my bloodstream."

Chocolate Bossa was conceived 3 years ago when CC wrote a song The Answer for Ithamara Koorax, and sent it to her in Brazil. She loved it and recorded her vocal part in Rio bringing percussion master Thiago de Mello to the recording session. Ithamara says of The Answer - "Each time I listen to that tune I like it more. It's very charming, sophisticated, and enchanting. Few times I like so much my singing in a track the way I do with The Answer."

CC chose in his liner notes to Chocolate Bossa to dedicate each track to an artist or friend who influenced some aspect of the track as a thank-you. Whatever the influence, the tracks are all classic Conway creations. Well known artists receiving a dedication include Flora & Airto, sax player Paul Winter, thereminist Barbara Buchholz, jazz singer Leon Thomas, sax guru Pharaoh Sanders, Carlos Santana, Ithamara Koorax of course, bossa master Marcos Valle, plus harmony giants Brian Wilson, Jimmy Webb and the Dedricks from group The Free Design.


influences
Marcos Valle, Ithamara Koorax, Paul Winter, Flora Purim, Airto Moreira, George Duke, Chick Corea, Bebel Gilberto, Sergio Mendes, Leon Thomas, Pharoah Sanders, Carlos Santana, Barbara Buchholz, The Free Design, Brian Wilson, Jimmy Webb.


trivia
CC's performance on this album earned him an International Jazz Awards nomination for outstanding male vocal performance (Latin/Afro-Cuban section).

In sending promotion packs to try and geta deal with various jazz and bossa labels Chris included a chocolate bar wrapped in an adapted CD cover art wrapper.

Cactus Cafe also appears on a Chris Conway jazz album Think Blue, Count Two in a guitar duo with Neil "Tiny" Segrott (who plays bass on it here)

Vanita's Groove can be heard in a different arrangement as "Vanita's Dance" on Jazz Orient's Bird Dancer and Live at the South Bank albums

Time To Talk can be heard in a different arrangement on The Storm Thieves' Up To The Sun album and Chris Conway & Dan Britton's Live album.

The Answer was recorded in Rio, Brazil and Leicester, UK and the recordings exchanged by post - Chris never met up with Ithamara or Thiago when they recorded. Ithamara Koorax has expressed an interest in releasing her own mix of The Answer on a future album of her own.

The Missing Years can be heard on the album 4am and is part of the piece You'll Never Know on the Think Blue, Count Two album and Breathtaking albums

CC's fave track - Still Believe In the Masterplan

reviews

**** 4 stars
Aah … sweet sounds from American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and theremin-playing sci-fi lover, Chris Conway.
Listening to Chocolate Bossa, I'm reminded of a recent holiday spent in the far north of Scotland. An exploratory visit to the somewhat unusual and rather fascinating Balnakeil Craft Village, near Durness, resulted in my discovery of chocolatiers Cocoa Mountain (www.cocoamountain.co.uk) and their bliss-inducing hot chocolate.
Conway's aural confection offers similar heavenly delights, smooth and uplifting, as the Brazilian beats and the honeyed tones of Leicester-based Conway's vocals soothe and stimulate in equal measure. With such quality ingredients and creative artistry, it would be all too easy to become a chocaholic.
Dave White

testimonials

Chocolate Bossa is wonderful! It's like Al Jarrea has gone on holiday to Rio.
- it's VERY GOOD! - Lorraine Bowen

...charming, sophisticated, and enchanting. - Ithamatra Koorax

track by track

Chris Conway

1. Starting Over
A funky but smooth electro beat song gets the album off to a great chillout start. CC dedicated this song to Flora Purim & Airto Moreira - "I could just imagine Flora singing this - especially the bridge"

CC - vocals, organ, keyboards, electric 9 string guitar, samples, loops
Neil Segrott - fretless bass

2. Tiny Sparrow
Amazingly this is CCs adaptation of an old folk tune. "I first heard it sung by Peter Paul & Mary and I thought right away what a good bossa tune it would make. My jazz group has been playing it like this for quite a while". CC dedicated this to sax player Paul Winter - a bossa and new age pioneer.

CC - vocals, nylon string guitar, piano, keyboards, loops, samples
Neil Segrott - fretless bass
Zorpinda Zorpin - percussion

3. Deep Space Bossa
CC had to get space and the theremin into it somehow. This interlude piece is dedicated to thereminist Barbara Buchholz whose style influenced his theremin playing on this piece.

CC - theremin, keyboards, loops, samples

4. Time To Talk
This is a new bossa treatment of a song CC sang and recorded with The Storm Thieves on their Up To The Sun album. It is dedicated to them.

CC - vocals, nylon string guitar, synthesizer, samples, electronic percussion
Neil Segrott - fretless bass
Zorpinda Zorpin - hand percussion

5. Still Believe In The Masterplan
This track is dedicated to Leon Thomas, Pharoah Sanders & Carlos Santana. It is CCs response and tribute to LT & PS's classic "The Creator Has A Masterplan". The Carlos dedication is reflected in CCs electric guitar playing. CCs first 4 albums he bought as a 10yr old kid were all Santana albums, and started his love of Latin music.

CC - electric 9 string guitar, electric piano, organ, tin whistle, bamboo flute, vocals, samples, electronic percussion
Zorpinda Zorpin - wind chimes, percussion, bells


6. Cactus Cafe
CC has played at Mexican Restaurant The Cactus Cafe for over 15 years. This tune also appears on a Chris Conway jazz album Think Blue, Count Two in a guitar duo with Neil "Tiny" Segrott (who plays bass on it here)

CC - nylon string guitar, keyboards, samples, loops
Neil Segrott - fretless bass
Zorpinda Zorpin - percussion

7. The Answer
This sumptuous jazz ballad features the stunning guest vocals of Ithamara Koorax and classic percussion of Thiago DeMello. Ithamara says of the song " Each time I listen to that tune I like it more. It's very charming, sophisticated, and enchanting. Few times I like so much my singing in a track the way I do with The Answer." This song was written especially for and dedicated to Ithamara.

Ithamara Koorax - vocals
Thiago De Mello - acoustic percussion
Neil Segrott - fretless bass
CC - vocals, piano, keyboards, nylon string guitar, electric 9 string guitar, theremin, electronic percussion



8. Love At First Light
A big breezy piece that covers a lot of ground, changing from fast to slow twice. It ends on a cascading canon of voices. CC dedicated it to great arrangers Brian Wilson & Jimmy Webb, Pat Metheny, and The Free Design

CC - nylon string guitar, vocals, lead synthesizer, keyboards, electronic percussion
Neil Segrott - fretless bass
Zorpinda Zorpin - electronic & acoustic percussion

9. Vanita's Groove
This track is a funky retro reworking of one of CCs tunes he wrote for Jazz Orient - Vanita's Dance from their Bird Dancer and Live at The South Bank albums. It is dedicated to his JO colleagues Linda Shanovitch & Baluji Shrivastav.

CC - electric piano, organ, electric 9 string guitar, tin whistle, bamboo flute, samples, electronic percussion
Zorpinda Zorpin - electronic percussion

10. The Missing Years
This track CC has been playing for years. It was on his 1st cassette album "4am" and gets a mention in 3/4 time in the middle of "You'll Never Know" from his Think Blue Count Two, and Breathtaking jazz album. Dedicated to sax player Andy Nicholls who has played this piece with CC many times and was on that first recording.

CC - vocals, nylon string guitar, electric piano, low whistle, samples, loops
Neil Segrott - fretless bass

11. Chocolate Bossa
Another theremin outing. Until the sparkley synth enters in the outro the whole chordal backing comes from one of CCs solo flights for theremin and effects. This track CC dedicated to himself - " a treat for me - as chocolates should be!" .

CC - theremin, vocals, effects, samples & loops
Zorpinda Zorpin - samples


12. Samba 66
A fun retro samba dedicated to Marcos Valle, tho Sergio Mendes could be mentioned too as it feels like a slice out of the classic Brazil 66 era.

CC - nylon string guitar, keyboards, tin whistle, vocals, samples, percussion
Zorpinda Zorpin - shakers

13.The End
This lush atmospheric piece wraps the album up. From slow hypnotic beat the pace picks up for the guitar solo and after the vocals return there is an almost oriental peace as it closes - "Feel the sound of love dancing in your heart."

CC - vocals, nylon string guitar, acoustic 9 string guitar, keyboards, electronic percussion, samples
Neil Segrott - fretless bass
Zorpinda Zorpin - wind chimes, bells, percussion

lyrics

1. Starting Over
There are times
In all of our lives
When you see the world around with such beautiful clarity
And you want it so to last
But the time goes by so fast
And when that precious moment’s past
You’re starting over

There are people
Who pass into our lives
And you think they will be right beside you forever
But if you hold on way too much
Or use one as a crutch
When they shatter at your touch
You’re starting over

You’ve got to build a dream
From scattered pieces on the ground
Then have to believe
In everything you’ve made and found
And start to feel the magic
Coz there’s magic all around
And it’s written in the rhythm
And the waves of every sound
But no matter how long
You sing your song
It has to end
And your starting over

You are having the time of your life
When you step back and get a touch too much perspective
And the different points of view
Turn you seven shades of blue
And each shade is telling you
You’re starting over

4. Time To Talk
You were looking right at me and I’ve
Been looking at you
There are so many things that I
Want to tell you
Time to talk - where the air is clearer
Talk – where we can be by ourselves
Talk – where we can get nearer
And everything will be well

chorus
But every time I try to tell you why
I feel this way
The moment always seems to pass me by
Gotta wait for another day – another day

We’ve been together a while and I
Need to know
How far and how quickly we both
Want to go
Time to talk – do we live together?
Talk – try to live for two as one?
Talk – will it last forever?
An will it still be fun

chorus

When we’re in a room together there’s
A strange atmosphere
The only things which keep us together are
Comfort and fear
Time to talk – get it into the open
Talk – can we really make amends?
Talk – why am I secretly hoping
This is really the end?

chorus

5. Still Believe In The Masterplan
Still believe in the masterplan
Peace and love for every man
Still believe in the masterplan
Peace and love through all the land.


7. The Answer
You love the idea of me
But not the reality
Because your fantasy
Is something I can never be
But I hope that you’ll find
That special one in your mind
And given luck and given time
They’ll have the answer

We gave it everything we had
Some shelter in a world gone mad
I don’t know how good times turned bad
But we’re not here to make each other sad
So it’s time to move on
No one’s right, no one’s wrong
And like a child, like a song
We’ll seek our answer

But when times were right
We used to talk all night
And let our dreams take flight
Until the morning light
But piece by piece our love
Fell like the leaves
From autumn trees
On cold and breezy days
Spring seems so far away

We all have questions deep inside
Solutions try their best to hide
By being so magnified
You can’t see them though they’re miles wide
But when you pause and reflect
Certain facts just connect
And in the feelings you reject
You’ll find your answer


8 Love At First Light
Suddenly it’s morning see the sun rise
Don’t look back
I can hear you calling right by my side
Don’t be afraid,
I’m right by your side
Love is awake,
To keep us alive
Love at first light

The sun, your eyes, the skies
Things we said last night
This is true love at first light



10. The Missing Years
Where were you?
Where was I?
How did time pass us by?
With everything we’ve been through
What can you say?
What can I do?
Can we try something new?
The missing years, the missing years
Where was I?
Where were you?

Where am I?
Where are you?
It came right out of the blue
Bluer than summer skies
No promises and no disguise
No distances in our eyes
The missing years, the missing years
Here you are
Here am I
Here am I

13. The End
The end is in sight
Last of our darkest nights
All our fears will be over
All our tears will be
Gone and forgotten

Wake with the sunrise
The stars are your only guide
Take me down to the river
Feel the sound
Of love dancing in your heart

 

all lyrics ©2008 Chris Conway


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