Pra Machucar Meu Coração
Chega de Saudade
S Festa Do Divino
Angela Turone (vocal, piano), Chris Platt (guitars), Chase Sanborn
John Nicholson (flute, saxophone), Pat Collins (bass), Robin Claxton
Hélio Cunha (percussion), Gordon Sheard (synth drone).
Rec. Canterbury Music Company, Toronto. August 2019.
Canadians playing and singing Brazilian music is not, perhaps, the most
obvious of musical combinations. Still, even if the bossa nova craze is
well past its peak in North America, there are still fine musicians in both
the USA and Canada whose genuine love of this music shines through in new
performances of it. Angela Turone and Chris Platt are two such, as is
clearly evidenced on this thoroughly delightful album.
The music known as bossa nova (new trend) emerged in Brazil,
particularly in Rio, in the late 1950s, through figures such as Antonio
Carlos Jobim and João Gilberto. Samba was reconceived by young Brazilian
musicians in the light of the ‘cool jazz’ of the East coast of the USA to
which they had been listening. There was, therefore, a kind of circularity
involved when bossa nova was picked up by American jazz musicians such as
Stan Getz, Charlie Byrd and many others in the first half of the 1960s. It
was assimilated into the language of jazz as several other musical idioms
have been before and since.
Turone and Pratt, with their fellow Canadians, here play a programme
largely made up of classic bossa material. Jobim’s ‘Desafinado’ (with
lyrics by Newton Mendonça), is one of the best known of all bossa tunes –
perhaps only another Jobim tune, ‘The Girl from Ipanema’, with lyrics by
Vinicius de Moraes, has been played and recorded more often. Two further
compositions by Antonio Carlos Jobim are included, ‘A Felicidade’ and
‘Chega de Saudade’ (both of these also have lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes).
‘Lendas Brasileiras’, by the great guitarist known as Guinga, is a brave
choice, a slow piece having little or nothing of jazz or bossa about it –
but Turone sings it beautifully, well-complemented by Chris Platt. ‘A Festa
Do Divino’ also lies outside the bossa nova tradition but, after all, this
album has the more general title: Sounds of Brazil.
There is no attempt to dress up the Quincy Jones/Jack Lawrence song
‘Pawnbroker’ (written as the theme for the 1964 film The Pawnbroker directed by Sidney Lumet) in inappropriate
Brazilian clothes – and it is good to learn that Platt and Turone are not
only specialists in Brazilian repertoire; on the other hand, the Rodgers
and Hart standard ‘Bewitched’ is given a gentle Brazilian
colouring and is enhanced by it.
I like Ms. Turone’s voice, and the way she uses it, very much. She is a
singer of gentle subtlety who is fully aware of both music and words –
whether singing in Portuguese or in English. All the songs were arranged by
Angela Turone and Chris Platt. The two met towards the end of their time as
students on the Jazz Programme at the University of Toronto. They began
working together in 2014, initially as a duet, adding further musicians
Every track on the CD is worth hearing, and re-hearing. My own particular
favourites included the version of ‘Desafinado’ which manages to sound both
fresh and faithful to Jobim’s composition. The rhythm section
distinguishes itself here, in support of Turone, as does flugelhorn player
Chase Sanborn who takes an attractively idiomatic solo. Sanborn is to the
fore again on ‘Doralice’, this time on trumpet. I like ‘Bewitched’ a good
deal, in part because of the lightly Brazilian colours and the work of
cellist Andrew Downing. On ‘A Festa Do Divino’ a skillful arrangement
contrives to make a small ensemble sound like a Brazilian carnival! But the
absolute highlight is the duet between the band’s two leaders, Turone and
Platt, on ‘Lendas Brasileiras’ (Brazilian Legends).
This album, by musicians of whom I had no previous knowledge, is an
unexpected delight. You don’t need to be a follower of Brazilian music to
enjoy it. It is available as a download from Amazon UK.