From the introductory phrase of Jobim’s “A Felicidade” on Mafalda Minnozzi’s new CD “Sensorial – Portraits in Bossa & Jazz”, the listener is both provoked and forewarned that this is not just another Brazilian vocal Bossa nova recording. Minnozzi’s formidable over 20 year career in Brazil that includes collaborations with Milton Nascimento, Leny Andrade, Guinga, André Mehmari and many others, gives her a deeper and more personal outlook on this all Brazilian repertoire.
“Sensorial – Portraits in Bossa & Jazz” captures the spirit of a NYC blowing session as it was recorded straight to both audio and video in two afternoons in Brooklyn with some “A list” jazz players, but the carefully constructed arrangements by Minnozzi and her guitarist Paul Ricci are the result of many shows and recordings together and this conceptual backbone was a constant guide for the players to react to.
From the most recorded Jobim songs like “Desafinado” and “Once I Loved” to some lesser recorded gems by Toninho Horta (Mocidade), Chico Buarque (Morro Dois Irmãos) and Filó Machado (Jogral), the jazz sensibility and spontaneity of the sessions puts the listener in the front row of a club that could be both in NY and Rio de Janeiro, or maybe somewhere where this music has yet to travel.
At times fiery, at times seductive and sensual but always surprising, the band made up of Paul Ricci (jazz, resonator and baritone guitars), Art Hirahara (piano), Rogerio Boccato (percussion), Victor Jones (drums), Essiet Okon Essiet and Harvie S (acoustic bass) with Will Calhoun as a special guest percussionist, all deliver the goods on a sound that ranges from the Bossa and Samba, to explorations in both the Latin and African aspects of these tunes.
“É Preciso Perdoar”, made famous in the voice of João Gilberto, gets a modal re-reading that surprisingly fits seamlessly together with John Coltrane’s “Lonnie’s Lament” and Minnozzi’s vocal improvisations often blend a soulful personal vocal timbre with what could easily be a saxophone. Although the DNA is all sourced form these great Brazilian composers and their poetic Portuguese lyrics, Mafalda also sings in English and in her native Italian to round out the universal appeal of this music.
Great ensemble playing from a seasoned jazz players perspective, a refreshing look at the Brazilian songbook and some beautiful soloing from the band all add up to a very enriching listening experience. For those who wish to sense the full impact of what went down in the studio those two afternoons, the full song selection is also available in video online for a truly sensorial package.
- A FELICIDADE [Jobim/V.De Moraes] (interlude CONSOLAÇÃO – B.Powell/V.De Moraes)
- VIVO SONHANDO [Jobim]
- MORRO DOIS IRMÃOS [C.Buarque]
- É PRECISO PERDOAR [A.Luz/C.Coqueijo] (intro LONNIE’S LAMENT – J.Coltrane)
- DESAFINADO [Jobim/N.Mendonça]
- MOCIDADE [T.Horta]
- SAMBA DA BENÇÃO [B.Powell/V.De Moraes]
- ONCE I LOVED (O AMOR EM PAZ) [Jobim/V.De Moraes vs. Ray Gilbert]
- TRISTE [Jobim]
- CHEGA DE SAUDADE [Jobim/V.De Moraes]
- JOGRAL [Djavan/J.Neto/F.Machado]
- UN ALTRO ADDIO (MAIS UM ADEUS) [Toquinho/V.De Moraes vs. S. Bardotti)]
- DINDI [Jobim]