“It sounds like the retro soundtrack of old-school James Bond on a mission to Brazil”, one of our guests remarked standing in front of an old James Bond poster. The jazzy bossa rhythms of Toco’s ‘samba noir’ audible in the background of our new Retrome Rome office. He seemed temporarily mesmerized by the music. “I love the old James Bonds.”
When you listen to samba noir it doesn’t take much to imagine Sean Connery , every movie fan’s favorite James Bond, enjoying the dangerously seductive lifestyle of Rio de Janeiro or Brigitte Bardot’s Búzios in the sixties. In actual fact the only time Bond visited South America was in the film Moonraker (1979), when he goes to Rio de Janeiro and takes an exhilarating speedboat ride on the Amazon River to spy on Drax’s secret facility in the jungle. Unfortunately for some of us, Roger Moore and not Sean Connery was James Bond at the time.
Why would I mention this in a retro blog about Italy? Yes, there is an Italian connection. Tomaz di Cunto aka Toco born in San Paulo, Brazil moved to Italy in 1999, where he met Adi Souza, who worked as vocalist with Brazilian music icons Vinicius de Moraes and Toquinho. To make a long story short, through Adi, he met Milan based multi-instrumentalist and jazz musician Stefano Tirone, aka S-Tone Inc.
Stefano Tirone, a musician with an architectural background has his roots in the new wave scene in the 80’s and acid jazz of the early 90’s and began producing in the early 90’s. Around 2004 he meets Toco. The name Toco means play, make music in Portuguese. After producing a few tracks, they decided to work together and embark on a mutual project to revive the bossa nova tradition of the 60’s with an updated sound.
In 2004 Stefano Tirone produces Tomaz Di Cunto’s first album “Instalaçao do samba. In 2005 the duo flies to Rio for Toco’s second album ”Outro lugar”. Joined by Roberto Menescal -one of the legendary Bossa Nova maestros- on guitar and Rosalia De Souza on back-up vocals, Toco’s and S-Tone Inc’s rhythmic, strong jazzy bossa sound perfectly epitomizes the spirit of the 60’s descending on a warm summer night in or out of the office. And who knows, it just might seduce you too.