London groove masters and Afro Brazilian pioneers Da Lata are back with a new EP featuring an anthemic jazz- samba refresh of ‘Asking Eyes’, originally an unknown Italian obscurity and now reimagined and backed up by two beefy re-edits from London’s original, Phil Asher.
“Asking Eyes” was originally recorded by the Raffaela Renzulli Ensemble in 1987. The original version was fundamentally a song in two halves, the first being slow and ballad-like, the second being a spritely jazz samba of just the type that’s always been a staple of the jazz-dance fraternity.
Da Lata couldn’t resist the temptation of a new treatment and over the course of several performances, the arrangement developed organically with vocalists Vanessa Freeman and new Brazilian recruit Adriana Vasques leading the line. Produced by Chris Franck, “Asking Eyes” is a swinging samba with a decidedly funky edge. It’s Banda Black Rio meets Chic, perfect fodder for the forementioned jazz-dance fraternity dancefloor.
The choice of the track came from Da Lata’s Patrick Forge having hunted the original down for his bi-annual hoedown with Gilles Peterson at London’s legendary “Another Sunday Afternoon At Dingwalls”. The first time Patrick dropped “Asking Eyes” at the session, Peterson didn’t react, the second time he freaked!! Soon after, Gilles was courteous enough to ask if Patrick had any objection to his new signing, Cuban singer Daymé Arocena, recording a version. DJ etiquette at work. A few months later, the Da Lata band recorded their own version in a day at the Boogie Back Studios in London, created and recorded live in one take.
Whilst Da Lata continue putting together and recording new material taking them back to their Brazilian roots, “Asking Eyes” once again captures the fluency and fluidity of the live band. It’s a groove thing.
Drums – Davide Giovannini
Bass – Ernie McKone
Flutes – Finn Peters
Congas, Tamborim, Repinique – Carl Smith
Lead Vocal – Vanessa Freeman
Backing Vocals – Adriana Vasques
Keys – Mike Patto
Guitars, Tamborim, Percussion – Chris Franck
composed by Claude Gouiffé & Raffaela Renzulli
writtten by Raffaela Renzulli
produced by Chris Franck
published by ELSA GmbH
mixed by Toni Economides
recorded at Boogie Back studios by Ernie McKone
artwork & photograph by Steve Franck