: discography

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^ Brasil, There & Back Again

First released on cassette in 1990, Brasil, There & Back Again was our second album. The tracks, "Goodbye LA” and "Viagem" were never subsequently released in the CD compilations that followed in the 90's. Here is the complete album, recorded at Mastertrack Studios in Hayward CA, direct to 2 Track reel to reel by Ron Davis, the live recording expert at the time in the SF Bay Area.

Sheila begun writing her Brazilian collection in 1968 with Samba #1, which ultimately became "Avo” found on "Our Own Way Vol. II" with Carlos Oliveira on guitar, and Gary Fisher piano. The first Brazilian song of Sheila's we released was "Vinicius Falou" written for Vinicius De Moraes. This was on our first album, recorded in 1989 “Our Own Way" a cassette release. The song subsequently ended up on "Our Own Way Vol. III."

We tried something Ron Davis had never done before. We recorded to the two track tape with the guitar track playing simultaneously, so the result had the same quality as the rest of the recording. The quality was so good on the Beta that we couldn't tell the difference between "Good-Bye L.A." and the others we recorded together live. We never released this song on our subsequent c.d. albums because we felt the lyrics were too personal. Sheila's brother Ricky has been asking me for this song for years. He wore out the cassette.

Sharman Duran always liked the original album, and always encouraged me to re-release it. Even on cassette the sound came through. I wrote many of the lyrics after Ary had come here from Miami to work on the album. I felt like I was taking dictation, even in my rudimentary portuguese. As always, Sheila inspired me.

When I met Oscar Velasco, my webmaster and friend, he invited me to his apt/studio. When I arrived at the address I realized he lives in the same building where we rented the apartment for Ary.

Recently, I saw Marcos Silva at the Jazz School in Berkeley CA, where he teaches. I asked if he had heard anything from Ary in these 20 years. He said no but suggested I do a search on a band with whom Ary had recorded. Before I could do the search I received an email from Ary, who had just been informed of Sheila's death. Marcos must have done it again and put us in contact.

Many thanks to Tardon Lawerence, (Mr. Toad's) who did the tape transfer to disc. The master reel was on an 80's tape that had an adhesive problem, and broke down rapidly. To restore the songs in their original quality, he had to clean the heads every few minutes. We just did it in time.

Here it is, in whatever quality you choose,
"Brasil, There & Back Again"

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The Brazilian songs started taking shape upon returning to the U.S. after spending 7 months in Rio De Janeiro in 1973, gigging and recording. The first song I remember was "The Wonder of Life" dedicated to Stevie Wonder, with whom Sheila had recorded and spent a little time. We started playing this song with our Soul band 'Sheila & Loveflame’ in 1974. I didn't put the lyrics to it until 1990, for this recording, "Brasil, There & Back Again."  The album has this and five other songs by Sheila, with lyrics by me, plus one written by the guitarist Ary Piassarollo, "Viagem" lyrics also by me. Ary had been our guitarist in a quintet we put together in Rio. When I asked Sheila in 1990 who she would like to have on guitar, if she could have anyone she liked, she said "Ary, of course."

We had no contact with Ary since 1973 in Rio, and didn't know where he was. Marcos Silva called me with Ary's phone number in Miami. We knew Marcos in Rio. He was working in the Samba Band at Bierklaus in the Praça Lido, while I was playing upstairs in A Fossa", a famous singers club in Copacabana. Audio clips of the Fossa band can also be heard at our Bio page.

This was the only phone call we ever received from Marcos. I don't know how he knew we were trying to find Ary. When I called Ary, he told me he was returning to Brazil. I asked if he would come to Alameda and work on this collection of Sheila's Brazilian songs before returning to Brazil. He accepted and spent 6 weeks with us, culminating with the recording.

We had run out of time in the studio and hadn't gotten to "Good-Bye L.A." Ary had to leave before we could get back in the studio, so we recorded in the house to our high speed 4track cassette recorder while sending the guitar alone to our mastering deck, which at the time was a BetaMax VCR with Hi-Fi Stereo. After Ary had left, we went back in the studio, bringing our VCR with us.