Lonestar "Life As We Know It"
Bob James & David Sanborn "Quartette Humaine"

Ed Motta "AOR"


Pure Westcoast Music from Brazil comes from latest cd by Ed Motta, "AOR".

Motta has worked with Roy Ayers, 4 Hero, Seu Jorge, Incognito, Bo Diddley and Ryuichi Sakamoto amongst others.

Ed tells: "Maybe it’s because ever since my adolescence, I’ve always been a keen record collector. So recording is the apex of my career, the moment I most look forward to, the great reason for making music.

What is AOR? A north-American expression invented by radio stations in the 70’s -“Album Oriented Rock” and also “Adult Oriented Rock”. The term AOR has several meanings and aesthetic representations: records of different kinds of music like funk, soul, Brazilian, Argentine, French, Italian, reggae music, etc, can be described as AOR. Earth Wind & Fire is one of the best examples. A legendary soul/funk band that has been called AOR because of its extremely precise production standard.

One of the AOR offshoots is the Westcoast sound, California music, from the Beach Boys (actually, sunshine pop) to the great production Midas, David Foster. Pop music at its best as far as technical quality is concerned, both musically and sonically speaking. Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, Pages, Chicago, Toto, Christopher Cross, Player, Hall & Oates, Boz Scaggs, etc, etc. Thousands of artists escorted by a whole cult following of sites, parties, new bands and artists dedicated to this universe. Naturally, all the AOR hits and rarities are available on YouTube.

This has been one of the most intricate records I’ve ever made. The mixing rate, for instance, was of one week per song. On most records, especially in Brazil, one day is set aside for each song. I used to work with two, three days. One of the greatest talents that I’ve ever encountered in sound engineering, MarioLeo, was the technician in charge. A shining sound is what you want in AOR culture, just like an extremely low bass is in a reggae recording. In the world of pop music, politeness is wrongly taken for coldness, mannerism. In AOR, technical perfection is a virtue, as in jazz and classical music.

I am very lucky to have had great musicians by my side, each one’s signature and accent is indispensable so that my arrangements can take on the life and shape I imagine for them. All of them are outstanding musicians, with personality and their own sound and style. And I got lucky: Chico Pinheiro, Bluey, leader of Incognito, as well as legendary guitarist David T.Walker, who has recorded just about everything and a little more of North-American music from the 70’s to the present day.

Before listening to this record, the modus vivendi and the AOR imaginary would put on a Hawaiian shirt à la Magnum PI, slip on a pair of loafers with no socks like in Miami Vice, get inside a convertible car and drive by coconut trees at sunset. Drive through Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles, Miami, Hawaii. Aloha!


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