Seven Steps to Soul
They saunter carefree through sunny "Acapulco," where Moreira stretches out an electric solo that sounds like Pat Metheny vacationing on a Mexican beach; in "Glass Beads," Koorax bubbles out her voice into flawless crystal spheres, strung together by Moreira's guitar. Moreira extends "An Embrace to Bonfa" as an acoustic guitar solo, with strumming that makes those strings seem to sing, while Koorax finds her spotlight in "Valsa (Bebel)," a wordless vocal that floats and bounces warm and soft.
Their mutual journey through "Forgotten Places" reveals that elusive, nearly perfect combination of composition, arrangement, and performance.
Bim Bom is the second release in Motema Music's "Jazz Therapy" series. Its proceeds benefit the Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund of Englewood Hospital & Medical Center, which partners with the Jazz Foundation of America to provide free medical care to musicians who need it.
Bim Bom: The Complete Joao Gilberto Songbook musicians: Juarez Moreira: acoustic guitars, electric guitars; Ithamara Koorax: vocals.
Bim Bom: The Complete Joao Gilberto Songbook song titles: Bim Bom; Ho-Ba-La-La; Forgotten Places; Minha Suadade; Voce Esteve Con Meu Bem?; Valsa (Bebel); An Embrace to Bonfá; Glass Beads; Joao Marcelo; Undiu; Acapulco; Ho-Ba-La-La (English lyrics).
Paa: Music from the Film
One of the most prolific and important composers in the history of India, Maestro Ilaiyaraaja has scored nearly 900 films, composed more than 5,000 songs, and has released several instrumental albumsincluding an original symphony by the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the first for a composer from India. He possesses legendary dexterity for synthesizing different sounds and stylesnot only traditional and contemporary vocal and instrumental music from India, but from European and American popular and classical traditionsinto new music that flows very naturally.
Of two recent soundtracks that demonstrate this synthesis, Paa is more contemporary while Kerlavarma Pazhassiraja uses more traditional Indian music and devices. Paa opens with the bright and colorful "Mudhi Mudhi Ittefaq Se," the sound of internationally-contemporary jazzjazz that sounds at home in any nationpainted in colorful strokes behind a female vocalist who chases its light melody the way that a kitten chases a kite tail. Both "Udhi Udhi Ittefaq Se" and, on the wings of heaven-bound electric guitars, "Gali Mudhi Ittefaq Se," echo this melody. These reprises give Paa a solid sense of symmetry and structure.
Throughout his compositions, Maestro Ilaiyaraaja introduces unaffected moments of beautiful, quiet clarity and of clattering digital lunacy. "Gumm Summ Gumm" contemplates the piano solo in the middle of its arrangement like a reflecting pool, while the sharp, vocal consonant sounds in "Hichki Hichki" bounce off of electronic percussion, beeps, and blips. In "Mere Paa," a solitary male voice wobbles and wanders through the melody while percussion and string ensembles take turns blossoming and then wilting behind his voice.
Kerlavarma Pazhassiraja: Music from the Film
Ilaiyaraaja's soundtrack for Kerlavarma Pazhassiraja synthesizes more indigenous music from India; its opening "Maathamganana Mabjavasa Rananeem," for example, a male vocal chant in tones that dovetail into the sonorities of the sitar drone upon which it floats. The female vocal in "Kunnathae Konnakyum Ponmothiram" flutters like a bird that guides its loping and deep percussion, quivering strings, and other orchestration. His attention to detail, in the quiet stroke of a solitary triangle on one of "Kunnathae"'s upbeats, once more proves exquisite.
The Maestro's swirling, thunderous orchestral visions of "Aadhiyushassandhya Poothathivide" and "Ambum Kombum Komban Kattum" are epic and vast, triumphant, and no less brilliant. "Ambum" swells from shouts and chants of children into an adult chorus; later, the children and adults swap choruses, vocally "trading fours" against the orchestration. "Odathandil Thalam Kottum Kaatil" nimbly strolls a soulful shuffle brightened by smiling African kalimbas.
"Aalamadankala Mythavanalle" brings the curtain down on Kerlavarma Pazhassiraja with all the power and majesty of traditional Indian strings, drums, chants, and rhythms, and ends in a percussion thunderstorm that leaves the listener feeling wrung out and dripping wet.
Paa performers and musicians: Shilpa Rao, K. Bavatharini, Shravan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Shaan, Amitabh Bachchan, unidentified chorus. Other musicians: Attila Lazlo, Bela Lattmann, Janos Nagy, Suresh Peter. Shyam Raj: saxophone; Karthik Raja: programmer; Purushottam: second programmer.
Paa song titles: Mudhi Mudhi Ittefaq Se; Gumm Summ Gumm; Udhi Udhi Itefaq Se; Hichki Hichki; Gali Mudhi Ittefaq Se; Halke Se Bole; Mere Paa; Paa Theme (Vicky Goswami Remix).