Listen to Me - Fontana / LP
1967 / EUA
01 – If You Want to Be a Lover (Luiz Henrique / Oscar Brown Jr.)
02 – I Was Afraid (Luiz Henrique / Oscar Brown Jr.)
03 – Berimbau (Baden Powell / Ray Gilbert) / (tradução: Luiz Henrique / Oscar Brown Jr.
04 – There Goes My Heart (Silver / Davis)
05 – Sem Tostão (Luiz Henrique / Ruy Guerra)
06 – Songs of Santa Claus (A. Valente) / (tradução: Luiz Henrique / Oscar Brown Jr.)
07 – In My Automobile (Roberto Menescal / Ronald Boscoli)
08 – Like a Flower (Aqucena) (Osvaldo Mello Filho) / (tradução: Luiz Henrique / Oscar Brown Jr.)
09 – Summer Song (Luiz Henrique / Oscar Brown Jr.)
10 – Sambão (Dom Um Romão)
11 – Alicinha (Luiz Henrique)
12 – Listen to Me (Luiz Henrique)
Arranged By – Sivuca
Guitar, Voice – Luiz Henrique
Bass – Don Payne
Drums, Percussion – Dom Um Romao
Guitar, Accordion – Sivuca
Producer – Hal Mooney
… “Listen To Me”
Perhaps, because you remember his name form the popular Fontana Album, “Finding a New Friend” Oscar Brown Jr. and Luiz Henrique, or their even more popular single “Laia Ladaia”, you are reading these notes. Maybe you are female and smitten by the cover photo, or you’re bored, perhaps, and this cover just happened to be laying around wherever you are at the moment. The possibilities are endless and unimportant. What matters is that you want to know what it’s all about, who says, “Listen To Me?”. Furthermore, you’re entitled.
Luiz Henrique Fernandes da Rosa, 27, of Florianopolis, Brazil insists, “Listen To Me”. Luiz Henrique, for short, a wiry guy, quick to grin, witty, direct. The fellow who wooed all the bellicose critics of Chicago, and won! Oscar Brown Jr. “Joy 66” was the show. My sometime pensive and wistful friend, Luiz, the romantic, a sucker for sunrise, partial to puppies, pigtails, pipes; a man mostly heart, all musician.
Of course, even with the cover portrait, this may not yet be enough to convince you to take “Listen To Me” literally, and listen. After all, Television awaits your attention too, so, why should you?
Well, listen first to Luiz because he can sing.
Now, if you’re searching for someone to shatter a chandelier, or some other such sub sonic shenanigans, split… Please. For between his centennial guitar and Henrique, purity prevails… Listen. Luiz is a singer. He can sing songs of significance without sermons, songs of sorrow without smaltz, songs of sentiment very well, indeed. Luiz is a singer who swings in the most exquisitely personal sense. He sings, as he plays, for one pair of ears at a time: yours. Listen to him… He sound like it.
You listen to Luiz because he has something to say. The title tune, “Listen To Me”, he wrote, broke in that glittering tempest, Manhattan. He wrote it in English, a language not his own. It was something to declare which all of us can understand, in any tongue. I wish I had written it. Listen to Luiz’s irrepressible arrangement of “My Automobile”, a winner, then resist, if you can, the incorrigible joy of an itinerant Brazilian lover of Life in, “I’m Broke!”.
Listen to Luiz because he has the impeccable taste to choose another improbable Brazilian giant, Sivuca, guitarist to Miriam Makeba and accordionist to the world to compose and direct those lush stringed arrangements that almost hurt to listen to. Listen to Luiz and his “roomie” Dom-Um Romao, who wields the “Berimbau”, an instrument which predates written music, yet still survives.
Listen here, because Luiz Henrique and Oscar Brown Jr. have forged a songwriting team whose works (four of them completed during the night before this album was recorded!) are destined to haunt this world for a long, long time to come.
If Luiz Henrique, new to The American Musical Scene, requires credentials, then here they be, imminently in order.
If he asks, “Listen To Me”, then, please, listen… He darn well deserves to be Heard!
By Kent Foreman