Amazon.com Widgets

Nilson Matta: Nilson Matta's Black Orpheus (2013)

By Published: | 4,411 views
Nilson Matta: Nilson Matta's Black Orpheus How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

This CD is the culmination of Nilson Matta's lifelong dream: to record his interpretation of the Orpheus music from the Brazilian play and movie of the 1950s. To make it happen, Matta enlisted fifteen superb players from Brazil and the United States, building his ensemble up from the rhythmic, native heart of the music. The result is a stunning accomplishment: a fresh translation of the timeless classics from Antonio Carlos Jobim
Antonio Carlos Jobim
Antonio Carlos Jobim
1927 - 1994
piano
, Vinicius De Moraes
Vinicius De Moraes
Vinicius De Moraes
1913 - 1980
guitar
, and Louis Bonfa, set in a virtual travelogue of Brazilian colors and sounds.

This delightful journey includes beloved melodies like "Samba de Orfeu," "A Felicidade," "Manha de Carnaval" and "Se Todos Fossen Iguais a Voce" (aka "Someone to Light up My life"), performed by stars like Kenny Barron
Kenny Barron
Kenny Barron
b.1943
piano
, Anat Cohen
Anat Cohen
Anat Cohen

sax, tenor
, and Randy Brecker
Randy Brecker
Randy Brecker
b.1945
trumpet
as well as masterful Brazilian players whose names are less globally known.

The CD also contains brief interludes of native percussion, like the pattering repinique, a small hand-drum, and the cuica, with its hooting, nearly human sound. Two short tracks are intense "Batacudas" that evoke the intricate churning of a Carnavale parade.

Singers include the increasingly-impressive Gretchen Parlato
Gretchen Parlato
Gretchen Parlato

vocalist
, who contributes her soulful breathiness to "Valse de Euridice" and the "Eu E O Meu Amor/Lamento No Morro" medley and the legendary Leny Andrade
Leny Andrade
b.1943
, who brings her signature power and passion to "A Felicidade" and "Se Todos Fossem..."

Matta completes his dream with two compositions of his own. The intriguing "Ascend, My Love" evokes the drama at the center of the myth: Orpheus's brilliant music has convinced the gods to let his beloved Eurydice return to life, but on her way up from the underworld she makes the same mistake as Lot's wife did when leaving Sodom and Gomorrah -she looks back, and disappears forever (so much for feminine curiosity!).

The party ends with Matta's jubilant "Hugs and Kisses," which, as he writes in his liner notes, "emphasizes my belief that, no matter what troubles we face, life must contain and be sustained by happiness." Certainly his Black Orpheus will bring joy to even the sharpest critic. This is some of the world's most melodic, expressive, and life-affirming music, and it reaches new heights when mixed with the swing and sophistication of jazz.

Track Listing: Overture; Repinique Interlude; Samba de Orfeu; A Felicidade; Cuica Interlude; O Nosso Amor; Manha de Carnaval; Batucada 1; Eu E O Meu Amor/Lamento No Morro; Frevo de Orfeo; Valsa de Euridice; Ascend, My Love; Um Nome de Mulher; Batucada II; Se Todos Fossem Iguais a Voce; Violao Interlude; Hugs and Kisses.

Personnel: Klaus Mueller: piano; Kenny Barron: piano; Alfredo Cardim: piano; Nilson Matta: bass; Randy Brecker: trumpet; Anat Cohen: clarinet; Laura Metcalf: cello; Anne Drummond: flute; Guilherme Monteiro: guitar; Alex Kautz, Erivelton Silva: drums; Fernando Saci: percussion; Reinaldo Silva: percussion; Jorjao Silva: percussion; Leny Andrade: vocal; Gretchen Parlato: vocal.

Record Label: Motema Music


comments powered by Disqus
Search
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mark Elf

Mark Elf

About | Enter

Stefano Bollani

Stefano Bollani

About | Enter

Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy

About | Enter

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Bandzoogle: GET STARTED TODAY - FREE TRIAL

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

Article Search