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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf, Glyn Pursglove

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Songs of Brazil

Concord Jazz 0888072304284




1. A Felicidade (Happiness)
2. Correnteza
3. Sò Tinha De Ser Com Você
4. Medo De Amar (Surrender The Soul)
5. O Morro Não Tem Vez (Favela)
6. Estrada Branca (This Happy Madness)
7. Outono (Stay)
8. Double Rainbow
9. Imagina
10. Desafinado (Slightly Out Of Tune)
11. Pra Dizer Adeus (Time To Say Goodbye)
12. Vivo Sonhando (Living On Dreams)
13. Estrada Do Sol
14. É Com Esse Que Eu Vou

Karrin Allyson - Vocals, piano
Rod Fleeman - Acoustic guitar (tracks 1-5, 7-12, 14)
Gil Goldstein - Piano, accordion (tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 9-11, 13, 14)
David Finck - Bass
Todd Strait - Drums (tracks 1-12, 14)
Michael Spiro - Tamborim, shaker, pandeiro, surdo (tracks 1, 3, 5, 12, 14)
Steve Nelson - Marimba, vibraphone (tracks 2, 5, 9, 10, 13)

Karrin Allyson is one of my favourite jazz singers. For a start, she's a genuine jazz singer, rather than the imitations that so many vocalists are - pretending to be jazzy when they are nothing of the sort. In addition, Karrin sings in tune and with heartfelt emotion. Above all, perhaps, is the unique quality in her voice: a slightly breathy, very seductive tone. So I was looking forward to this, her latest album, which consists entirely of Brazilian songs. Her repertoire has always included material from Brazil, so she is very familiar with such songwriters as Antonio Carlos Jobim, whose compositions make up the majority of this CD.

So why have I got reservations about this album? Because Karrin sings many of the songs in Portuguese - or in a mixture of English and Portuguese. It feels rather like going to see an opera sung in a foreign language and trying to work out the plot. It doesn't present too many problems with songs like Favela and Desafinado, because these are familiar Jobim compositions which sound like old friends. And when English is used at least partially, it assists appreciation as well as comprehension. So, for example, tracks four and six have a poignancy which touches the heart, especially as sung with gentle grace by Karrin.

Of course, one can just lie back and enjoy the warmth of Allyson's marvellous voice without bothering about what the words mean, but the Portuguese is still a hindrance to those of us (like myself) whose knowledge of the language is restricted to "Obrigado!" (or to Karrin Allyson: "Obrigada!").


Tony Augarde





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