Moacir Santos

One of the main Brazilian arrangers, having renovated the country's harmonic language in the '50s, the underrated Moacir Santos had nevertheless a highly influential role as he had as his pupils, in the '60s: Paulo Moura, Oscar Castro-Neves, Baden Powell, Maurício Einhorn, Geraldo Vespar, Bola Sete, Sérgio Mendes, Dom Um Romão, João Donato, Roberto Menescal, Carlos Lyra, Dori Caymmi, Airto Moreira, and Flora Purim, among others. In 1968, he was admitted into Henry Mancini's cinema music writing team and, four years later, he launched his first album in the American market, The Maestro, which was nominated for a Grammy award; it was followed by Saudade (1974), Carnival of the Spirits (1975), and Opus 3, No. 1 (1979). Owner of a distinctive Brazilian style as a composer and arranger, Santos' most-known tunes are "Nanã" (written with Mário Teles), which had over 150 different recordings (including those by Herbie Mann and Kenny Burrell); and "Coisas" (number one to 12); not to mention a series of compositions with Vinicius de Moraes ("Triste de Quem," "Menino Travesso," "Se Você Disser Que Sim," "Lembre-Se"), who praised him in his "Samba da Benção." Having written the arrangements for, among others, Vinicius de Moraes e Odete Lara (1963), Santos also composed the soundtracks for the films Love in the Pacific, Seara Vermelha (an adaptation of Jorge Amado's novel, directed by R. Aversa), Ganga Zumba (Cacá Diegues), O Santo Médico (Sacha Gordine), and Os Fuzis (Ruy Guerra), among others.

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