How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Joyce, the Brazilian songstress and songwriter best known as the originator of the samba subgenre called "hard bossa," presents an impressive new album containing ten of her original tunes written in the style of the music of the traditional dance halls ( gafieira ) of Rio de Janeiro. This is an album that will appeal to straight-ahead jazz fans as well as Brazilian music aficionados because Joyce combines the melodic wit and subtle harmonic sophistication of Brazilian bossa nova with the hard drive of American jazz.
English-speaking fans will also appreciate the fact that Joyce has put her near-native fluency in English to good use in the English language song "The Band on the Wall," a tribute to those anonymous musicians everywhere whose music manages to live on after they´ve been forgotten. The musical tributes continue in "Pega Leve" (with references to Thelonious Monk and Hermeto Pascoal) and "Forcas d'Alma" (Pixinguinha and the Mangueira Samba School). Especially noteworthy are the hard-driving "Bota de sete Leguas" and the heart-rending ballad "Risco."
Joyce has never sounded better and her supporting cast is equally impressive. Tutty Moreno on drums is the Brazilian Mel Lewiswhatever he plays is always exactly right. Vittor Santos on trombone gives a virtuoso performance on "Pega Leve" and Teco Cardoso, Nailor Proveta and Eduardo Neves on woodwinds provide a solid horn background as well as a number of tasty solos.