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Bassini, Rubens (26 January 1933-September 1985)

Percussionist from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who played in a band called Os Ipanemas with Marinho, Neco, Wilson das Neves, and Astor Silva.

In 1960, he released Ritmo Fantastico under his own name (“e os 11 Magnificos”) and blended Afro-Cuban music with bossa nova on tracks such as “Mirage” and “Love for Sale”.

He and Neves teamed up with Miguel Angel on 1964’s Samba na Onda, a collection of bossa nova tracks with a highly percussive backbeat. Out the same year was Eumir Deodato’s Lounge 64, a series of custom-built medleys including “The Days of Wine and Roses/Misty” and “Fly Me to the Moon/Our Day Will Come”. Writing of remakes, Rubens turned up on Sergio Mendes and Brasil ‘66’s Fool on the Hill in 1968.

Other artists and groups with whom he performed include Nicola Conte, Joao Gilberto, Dave Grusin, Meco, Laura Nyro, Orlandivo, Lee Ritenour, Dom Salvador, Kate Taylor, and Stanley Turrentine. He stayed busy in the late ‘70s with Carly Simon’s Boys in the Trees and Michael Franks’ Tiger in the Rain. In 1980, he appeared on the soundtrack of Virus and Spyro Gyra’s Catching the Sun. (He had made guest appearances on their eponymous debut and Morning Dance.) The CD era offers chances a-plenty to hear Rubens on compilations such as The Best of Spyro Gyra: The First Ten Years, Bossa do Morro, Doctor’s Orders: The Best of Carol Douglas, and The Essential Maynard Ferguson.

He passed away in 1985 when he was 52 years old.

The Spinners recordings
Disco Ride (Jolyon Skinner/Eltesa Weatherby/Michael Zager)

Spyro Gyra recordings
Morning Dance (Jay Beckenstein)

Here he is with Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 and Tom Jones…..