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Angela Turone & Chris Platt

Sounds of Brazil

Self-Produced [42:12]

 

Desafinado

Pra Machucar Meu Coração

Doralice

Pawnbroker

A Felicidade

Bewitched

Chega de Saudade

Lendas Brasileiras

S Festa Do Divino

Angela Turone (vocal, piano), Chris Platt (guitars), Chase Sanborn (flugelhorn, trumpet)

John Nicholson (flute, saxophone), Pat Collins (bass), Robin Claxton (drums),

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 later.

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.

Glyn Pursglove


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