Mark Heard It First

Applauding the Sunset

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When Stephan Oberhoff’s friend Patrick Putman asked me if I would like an advance copy of Stephan’s newest recording, of course I said yes. Stephan performed his beautiful music to the delight of the Music on the Main crowd at Descanso Gardens last summer. Patrick asked me if I would review the record, and I said I would be happy to listen. I have been happily listening for the better part of a week now, at home, and where I do most of my listening – in the car slugging my way through LA traffic.

This is a beautiful record. I will just say it plainly and simply, because this music deserves a detailed review from somebody who has the vocabulary to do it justice. When it comes to the various sub genres and rhythms at the beating heart of Brazilian music, I am a grateful listener, but not an expert. Those who perform this sensual, lilting music with authority are steeped in the culture. Stephan Oberhoff clearly is, and I am not. But I can wholeheartedly recommend “Applauding the Sunset” with the delight of a child seeing his first sun shower.

At times it reminds me of sections of the “Misa Criolla” by Ariel Ramirez, which I discovered as a music student at Los Angeles City College. Ramirez, an Argentine, spent considerable time in Brazil and was an expert on indigenous South American rhythms. This connection is more a reflection of Stephan’s music than my own lack of in-depth knowledge. There is a spiritual quality to “Applauding the Sunset.” Once again, I don’t have the tools to be specific, but I found myself remembering the profoundly beautiful “Misa Criolla” as I was listening to “Applauding the Sunset.” My musical journey at Los Angeles City College was a particularly happy time of discovery, fondly remembered, and as I listened to Stephan’s music, I was taken back. And isn’t that what successful music does? It transports us.

As a vocalist, I can say that I particularly appreciate Stephan’s singing. He weaves and integrates his clear, evocative, perfectly in tune voice throughout this multi-layered, rich music.

“Applauding the Sunset” is scheduled for a November 2, 2016 release. Please check it out. I think you will love it as much as I do, and when you let it, it will transport you.

Stephan Oberhoff; piano, keyboards, vocals, percussion, electric and acoustic guitars
Robert Kyle: flutes, soprano sax, percussion
Katisse Buckingham: flute and vocals
Walter Rodrigues and Simon Carroll: percussion
Rob Trow background vocals
Marquinho Ribeerio: Violoncello
String section conductor: Michele Brourman

All arrangements by Stephan Oberhoff, expect “Senhorinha”
Vocal arrangement by Pedro Iacovini

Recorded by Stephan Oberhoff at:
Full Circle Studios, Pasadena CA,
Beck Studios, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and
ClearLake Audio, Burbank, CA

Edited and mixed at Full Circle Studios by Stephan Oberhoff
Mastered by Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood, CA


“O Pantanal” Stephan Oberhoff
“Alta Vista” Robert Kyle and Stephan Oberhoff
“Lembra De Mim” Ivan Lins
“Foray Into Forro” Michele Brouman and Stephan Oberhoff
“Spring Knows It’s Way Back Home” Stephan Oberhoff and Sharon Vaughn
“Back To The Favela” Stephan Oberhoff
“Thorns Have Roses” Stephan Oberhoff
“Comecar De Novo” Stephan Oberhoff
“Spirit Of The Maracatu” Stephan Oberhoff
“Brasilia Sky” Stephan Oberhoff
“Senhorinha” (short version) Guinga Stephan Oberhoff
” I Wish You Well” Stephan Oberhoff