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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful performances but a question remains, 21 Jun 2012
Mr. K. J. Morris (West Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Um Dia (20 De Julho De 1979) (Audio CD)
Since I may be about to say something controversial, I wish first to state my interests.

I adore Elis whom I wish to see more widely recognised, especially in the English speaking world. I find her to be a most technically and a most emotionally satisfying singer and up there with the very greatest singers of popular music from the English speaking world. I find it very sad that she and several other virtuoso Brazilian singers are almost unknown here. I also love this record which I find thrilling. SO why the concern? you might ask.

Elis had a reputation for being a difficult performer and for often giving her bands a hard time, but it is clear that she was also extremely hard on herself. Elis was apparently very unhappy about her performances here and as others have stated, she forbade her record company to release the tapes of the performances on these two CDs. The story goes that it was only after her accidental death at the tragically young age of 36, that her fans clamoured for the release of these recordings.

Some time ago I bought the 'Live at Montreux' album, assuming as I'm sure did others that with the 'bonus material' of her three recordings with Hermeto Pascoal, that CD amounted to the full recording of the event. 'Um Dia' includes material not on the Live at Montreux album, and wonderful it is too- surprisingly so, since when I first played the earlier album I found it extremely disappointing. Elis had a reputation for her wonderful pitch control, but there were times on the album when her pitch was definitely iffy. I accepted a story I had heard (probably incorrect it seems now) that she had worn herself out performing at the afternoon show and that her recrded evening concert had left her tired and out of tune. Clearly that seems wrong because if the order of performances on this CD is correct as it seems to be, much of the earlier CD is taken from her afternoon concert.

Unlike that earlier CD, here her renditions are pitch perfect throughout and I found myself utterly thrilled by the excitement conveyed by these masterful performances. So I must ask, how did those performances, so often marred by difficulties with pitch, suddenly become pitch perfect and regarded by some reviewers elsewhere as the best performances of her later career? Has the 2012 producer, Marcel Froes, resorted to the use of 'In Tune' software to clean up Elis' occasional pitch failings? I also have the feeling from time to time that percussion not on the earlier CD is present here. Either parts recorded in 1979 but not appearing on the original record have now appeared in the remaster or parts recorded later have been added.

Should I be bothered? Well perhaps not because this is a fine record, and it is going to played a great deal because it is one of Elis' classic performances, but I would quite like to know what has been done to those original recordings.

A final point, her wonderful performances with Hermeto (even allowing for the occasional lapses alluded to above) includes the song 'Girl from Ipanema'. That song, became almost relegated to the role of elevator music as seen in the film 'Blues Brothers' by its performance by lesser performers, is almost worth the cost of the album on its own. I have heard it claimed that Elis wouldn't perform the song because she found it demeaning to women, but I don't believe it to be the case. My theory is that it hurt her to see a much lesser singer than herself gain universal acclamation through her recording of this song. I'm sure I'm not the only person who sees Elis' English language delivery of Garota de Ipanema as being a tongue in cheek satire on that other singer. As I say I see it alone as being worth the price of the album! Useful also to know that these three performances can be seen on Youtube.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AT LAST: THE COMPLETE 1979 "ELIS REGINA AT MONTREUX" RECORDINGS, 24 April 2012
RBSProds "rbsprods" (Deep in the heart of Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Um Dia (20 De Julho De 1979) (Audio CD)
Five HUGE Stars! "Um Dia" (One Day) is finally the complete recordings of Brazilian super-diva Elis Regina's legendary appearance at the Montreux Jazz Festival on 20 July 1979 with both afternoon and evening performances in the correct order of presentation. Those who thought Warner Record's last 16 track release was the entire show will be shocked to learn there are 27 total tracks with differing versions of songs such as "Cobra Criada", "Cai Dentro", and "Maria, Maria". When she arrived at the 1979 Montreux Jazz Festival, Elis was informed that they had added an afternoon show, since her evening show had sold out fast and there was still great demand for tickets. As "Um Dia" shows for the first time in the correct performance order, faced with an unplanned show, nevertheless she and her quintet headed by husband Cesar Camargo Mariano on piano "blew the afternoon audience away" with a 13 song triumph and an encore of "Upa, Neguinho" and "Maria, Maria" to extended ovations. She came back, in what must have been an exhausting day that required a short break near the end given her high-energy singing style, with an 11-song show in the evening, with for the first time "Triste", "Na Baixa Do Sapateiro", and "Corrida De Jangada". And then, revitalized, she did 3 duets with heroic pianist Hermeto Pascoal: a searing "Corcovado", a sensational English/Portuguese "Garota de Ipanema" (The Girl from Ipanema), and a beautifully sung "Asa Branca", as the icing on the evening performance cake. Elis had forbidden Warner from releasing the tapes, touching off various conspiracy theories which I will avoid here. Three years later she passed away in a tragic accident at age 36. Warner relented to the fans and released two shorter CD releases of the afternoon concert over the years, but "Um Dia", released after 30 years, tells the complete 'Elis Regina at Montreux' story: both shows were triumphs in differing ways, sung to thunderous ovations. This is an "essential recording" for any Elis Regina, jazz, and MPB (Brazilian Popular Music) collection, recorded in vivid sound except for 2 momentary instances in the evening show. My Highest Recommendation. Five ENJOYABLE Stars! (2-Audio CDs: afternoon show-55min 3sec; evening show-63min 36secs, with booklet in Portuguese. All sung in Portuguese except "Garota de Ipanema".)
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Um Dia (20 De Julho De 1979)
Um Dia (20 De Julho De 1979) by Elis Regina (Audio CD - 2012)
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