Sunday, December 5, 2010

Latin Good Lovin'

Wow, we're already to post 3 of the Good Lovin' project, and it only feels like post 14 or 15! 

Sometime in the 60's someone decided that everyone should have an electric organ in their home.  This was much to the dismay of the American middle class family, who had only managed to cough up the $4000 for an upright piano a few years before.  But, advertisements made it clear that there was joy to be gained from the electric organ that the piano could never provide:

Look!  Even grandma and Old Yeller have joined the party!  Plus, the electric organ wasn't just for family gatherings; it was the ultimate social multi-tool.  It could provide music for any social gathering.  There were song books with heavily boiled-down versions of everything from American folk songs to official state songs.  Some of the later models even had built-in drum machines and chord players that would help you play marches, fox trots, bossa novas, swings, and waltzes in your living room.  In the present age of computers, we take for granted the luxury of instant music.  But long ago, many an under-privileged child had to march in their living room in utter silence.  It was a pitiful scene. 

So, clearly the point of all that was bossa nova.  International treaties declared that all organs with rhythm generating capabilities include a bossa nova setting.  Digging far too deep into music history, we find out that bossa nova began its existence not as an organ option, but as an actual musical genre.  Shortly after high school, I remember hearing a recording of Astrud Gilberto singing Antonio Carlos Jobim's bossa nova tunes in Portuguese.  The songs were beautifully written and Astrud's voice was strikingly bare, with no vibrato.  There were elements of jazz, but it was so different from the hot and agitated American big band and bebop jazz.

As I was playing with the chords in "Good Lovin'", I decided to make the key minor, but preserve the chords otherwise.  After a bit of tinkering, some of the bossa nova influences surfaced, and I ended up with a nice Latin cover of the song.  I almost chickened out and just recorded an instrumental melody line, but Sarah insisted that I record vocals instead.  Sarah agreed to watch a movie with headphones on, so I could feel at easy trying out some Latin crooning in the music room.  I managed to translate the lyrics to Spanish (sorry, Antonio, I don't know Portuguese), but the translation's not great.  Instead of trying to translate it back, just be content to hear it and think "ooooh, it's foreign!"

Good Lovin Dec 5 by are.kay.more


  1. Ooooooh, it's foreign! *girly giggle*

    those poor kids, marching around the living room in silence. we should teach our kids to march around the living room IN SILENCE.

  2. Ooooh, it's foreign! I really like the flute. It really brings the song together and gives it that kinda jazzy feel to it.

  3. Sounds great, a lot like James Taylor - only kind of bossa nova and spanish and with an electric organ instead of an acoustic guitar -well maybe not a lot like James Taylor.