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Ithamara Koorax

Although Rio de Janeiro-based vocalist Ithamara Koorax has long been established as a recording artist in her native Brazil as well as in Europe and Japan, it wasn't until 2000 that American listeners were introduced to her unique vocal stylings on Milestone's Serenade in Blue. That release helped position her for a 4th-place finish in the Female Singer category--behind Cassandra Wilson, Diana Krall, and Dianne Reeves--in the 2002 Down Beat Readers Poll.

Back in 2000, Ithamara was voted for the first time one of the world's best jazz singers by Down Beat, also appearing as #3 Best Beyond Artist, behind only Sting and Carlos Santana, and ahead of such heavyweights as Tom Waits, Stevie Wonder and Joni Mitchell. Serenade In Blue (featuring Deodato, Jay Berliner, Azymuth, Dom Um Romao, Kevin Jasper, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Nelson Angelo) was voted #7 Best Beyond Album in that same 2000 Down Beat Readers Poll.

Ithamara's extraordinary follow-up CD, Love Dance: The Ballad Album, will certainly establish her artistry in the most convincing possible terms. It was just voted #5 Best Beyond Album in the 2003 Down Beat Readers Poll, behind only the latest discs by Norah Jones, Steely Dan, Radiohead and The Roots. Love Dance was also acclaimed as one of the Top 10 Vocal Albums for 2003, by the critics of the prestigious The Independent Weekly.

For this new album--inspired by Mark Murphy's 1988 Milestone session September Ballads--Koorax and her producer Arnaldo DeSouteiro assembled a phenomenal international cast as well as a challenging, inspiring repertoire. Singing in English, Portuguese, Spanish, Koorax has chosen unexpected beauties from Brazilian masters including Antonio Carlos Jobim, Luiz Bonfa, Marcos Valle, and Ivan Lins; from Claus Ogerman and pianist Jurgen Friedrich; and even Vernon Duke (a tender reading of "April in Paris," recorded as a duet with Bonfa just a few months before his death).

Among Ithamara's accompanists are guitarist John McLaughlin (on "Man Alone," his first recording backing a vocalist), Azymuth ("Love Dance"), Marcos Valle (a duet performance of his composition "Flame"), and Gonzalo Rubalcaba (offering piano backing on "La Puerta" and Jobim's "Amparo"). Other tunes are Jobim's "Ligia," "Someday," "Blauauge," and "I Loved You" (composed by the brilliant arranger Claus Ogerman).

Ithamara Koorax (pronounced ee-tah-MAH-rah KOH-rax) is a native of Rio de Janeiro, where she still resides. "My family, Polish Jews, fled Europe during the second World War," the 37-year-old vocalist explains. "I started to study singing and classical piano when I was very young, just five years old. My concentration, of course, was on lyric singing, classical music, mostly European music.

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15
Album Review

Ithamara Koorax: All Around the World

Read "All Around the World" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


All Around the World represents several milestones for firebrand Brazilian vocalist Ithamara Koorax: It marks her twentieth release as a leader, celebrates the 25th year of her career, and, just like her first official release (Ithamara Koorax Live in Rio [1993, JVC]), All Around the World comes digitally straight from the soundboard, with no overdubs or other studio corrections. Just as importantly, All Around the World truly embodies the global state of modern jazz. Koorax's band features many ...

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Album Review

Rodrigo Lima: Saga

Read "Saga" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


“I fell in love with the jazz guitar--all kinds of jazz guitarists, from Jim Hall to Pat Metheny to Luis Bonfá, by listening to their records," explains Brazilian composer, arranger, bandleader and guitarist Rodrigo Lima. Saga luxuriously extends this jazz guitar love affair across the American and Brazilian continents--it was recorded in New York, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba--and across the two CDs of Lima's utterly magnificent recorded debut. Producer Arnaldo DeSouteiro elegantly ...

16
Album Review

Ithamara Koorax: Opus Classico

Read "Opus Classico" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Throughout her career, Ithamara Koorax has consistently exercised a singing voice that approaches the eternal; Ira Gitler once famously described Koorax's singing as “celestial elegance." On Opus Clássico, that amazing voice finds material to match: Vocal and vocalized melodies written by such master composers as Frederic Chopin, Claude Debussy, Sergie Rachmaninoff and Heitor Villa-Lobos, lovingly and gorgeously rendered by Koorax's astounding voice in tandem with pianist Filipe Bernardo and guitarist Rodrigo Lima (who worked with Koorax on Arirang [2010, EMI]). ...

19
Interview

Ithamara Koorax: Celestial Elegance

Read "Ithamara Koorax: Celestial Elegance" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Singer thamara Koorax recorded her 15th solo CD, Got to Be Real (Irma, 2012), “live in the studio" in Rio de Janeiro, the place of her birth, with her touring band--bassist Jorge Pescara, drummer Haroldo Jobim (a cousin of Antonio Carlos Jobim) and keyboardist Jose Roberto Bertrami, founding member of Brazil's famous fusion export Azymuth, on Rhodes, Yamaha and Hammond organs, clavinet, and synthesizers. Small wonder that on Got to Be Real, Koorax sounds completely at home in different types ...

388
Extended Analysis

Ithamara Koorax: Bim Bom - The Complete Joao Gilberto Songbook

Read "Ithamara Koorax: Bim Bom - The Complete Joao Gilberto Songbook" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose


Ithamara Koorax Bim Bom: The Complete João Gilberto Songbook Motema Records 2009 Jo&#227o Gilberto did not just epitomize bossa nova, “The New Thing" that he virtually invented, but he also brought his new, laconic vocal style to Brazilian music. So deeply passionate and idiosyncratic was his pronounciation and intonation that he could wail and groan with equal lyricism. Pitch did not seem to matter as mood and emotion often took precedence ...

237
Album Review

Fabio Fonseca Trio: Opus Samba

Read "Opus Samba" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Arnaldo DeSouteiro produced Opus Samba to feature Fonseca's funky Hammond B-3 organ in his trio with Pedro Leao (bass) and Mac William (drums). Though you won't hear any jazz standards on its set list or many harmonically adventurous jazz solos in its jams, the very musical way that Fonseca and friends blend together jazz, Brazilian, Latin and soft funk rhythms makes Opus Samba a nearly perfect jazz trio set.

“Samba de Nanh" crisply yet softly opens this Opus ...

359
Album Review

Ithamara Koorax: Brazilian Butterfly

Read "Brazilian Butterfly" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Except for two ballads--the cosmopolitan “Carinhoso with her Brazilian jazz fusion compatriots Azymuth, and Herbie Hancock's title track--Ithamara Koorax's ninth album is her most adventurous release. It seems constructed to honor legendary Brazilian vocalist Flora Purim and her husband/bandleader/percussionist Airto. This Brazilian Butterfly soars and flutters while multiple percussionists (often as many as four on the same song, most often led by the late and legendary Dom Um Romão, with Koorax frequently flailing away among them) knit together, pull apart, ...

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Recording

Peter Scharli Trio Featuring Ithamara Koorax "O Grande Amor"

Peter Scharli Trio Featuring Ithamara Koorax "O Grande Amor"

Source: Sound Insights by Doug Payne

In their second recording together, Swiss trumpeter Peter Schärli and Brazilian singer Ithamara Koorax have come up with a beautiful reflection on Brazilian music that goes far above and beyond expectation. Schärli, whose attractive sound and complimentary interjections suggest the influence of Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stańko, and Koorax were first brought together in 2006 by the legendary Brazilian percussionist Dom Um Romão (1925-2005), who had previously worked with both musicians on separate occasions, to record Obrigado Dom Um Romão. Here, ...

191

Interview

Interview: Ithamara Koorax (Part 2)

Interview: Ithamara Koorax (Part 2)

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

I met Brazilian vocalist Ithamara Koorax for the first time a year ago in New York at an amazing holiday party on Sutton Place. Jazz writer Ira Gitler introduced us. Ithamara was in town briefly to sing and had postponed her flight by a day just to make the soiree, which was softly lit and jammed with jazz legends. Singers Helen Merrill and Annie Ross were there. So were Joe Wilder, Teddy Charles, George Wein and about 50 other jazz ...

84

Interview

Interview: Ithamara Koorax (Part 1)

Interview: Ithamara Koorax (Part 1)

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

In 1958, the bossa nova began to expand beyond Brazil and attract international attention, particularly in the U.S. While jazz artists here began adapting the Brazilian folk beat in the 1950s and early 1960s, the bossa nova didn't become a bona fide sensation until the release of Getz/Gilberto in 1964. On that album, Stan Getz was joined by two bossa nova stars, pianist Antonio Carlos Jobim and guitarist Joao Gilberto. Today, of the pair, only Gilberto survives. So last year, ...

171

Recording

Ithamara Koorax to Release Bim Bom - The Complete Joao Gilberto Songbook Celebrating 50 Years of Joao Gilberto

Ithamara Koorax to Release Bim Bom - The Complete Joao Gilberto Songbook Celebrating 50 Years of Joao Gilberto

Source: GoMedia PR

Acclaimed Brazilian Vocalist Pays Tribute to Gilberto's Prodigious Talents as a Composer on Motema's Second “Jazz Therapy" Release While 2008 marked the “official" 50th anniversary of the bossa nova--a style first recorded in Brazil by guitarist Joao Gilberto on the 1958 song “Chega de Saudade" (No More Blues)--2009 marks yet another key anniversary: the 50th anniversary of the release of Gilberto's genre defining debut LP, also titled Chega de Saudade, with which he widely popularized and in many ways epitomized ...

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Performance / Tour

Ithamara Koorax Brazilian Jazz Singer European Tour

Ithamara Koorax Brazilian Jazz Singer  European Tour

Source: All About Jazz

Brazilian jazz singer Ithamara Koorax kicked off her European tour.

Backed by the Swiss Peter Scharli Trio, she will perform songs from the group's latest CD release, Obrigado Dom Um Romao (TCB), as well as the songs from a new album that will be recorded live during the tour.

Koorax will also present master classes about vocal jazz improvisation and vocal jazz history in the Musik der Hochschule Luzern (Music School of Luzern, at the Luzern University) March 23-24.

Here's ...

183

Performance / Tour

Peter Scharli Trio with Ithamara Koorax European Tour Dates Supporting "Obrigado"

Peter Scharli Trio with Ithamara Koorax European Tour Dates Supporting "Obrigado"

Source: All About Jazz

The Peter Scharli Trio and Ithamara Koorax have announced the following perfomances in Switzerland and Germany to promote their recent CD Obrigado Dom Um Romao. Scheduled dates in Switzerland and Germany currently include:

Birrwil, Bren, March 18 Wdenswil, Wadin Jazz Club, Theater Ticino, March 19 Hochdorf, Rest. Braui, March 20 Luzern, Vasco da Gama, March 21 Luzern, Hochschule, Master Classes, March 23 Luzern, Hochschule, Master Classes, March 24 ...

114

Recording

Ithamara Koorax to Release "Love Dance: The Ballad Album" on April 22

Ithamara Koorax to Release "Love Dance: The Ballad Album" on April 22

Source: All About Jazz

Although Rio de Janeiro-based vocalist Ithamara Koorax has long been established as a recording artist in her native Brazil as well as in Europe and Japan, it wasn't until 2000 that American listeners were introduced to her unique vocal stylings on Milestone's Serenade in Blue. That release helped position her for a 4th-place finish in the Female Singer category -- behind Cassandra Wilson, Diana Krall, and Dianne Reeves -- in the 2002 DownBeat Readers Poll.

Due to be released on ...

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Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

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Espelho Solar

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This Is Hammock House

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Feel Like Making Love Feat. Arnaldo DeSouteiro

From: Feel Like Making Love
By Ithamara Koorax

Dive Into The Deep Blue

From: Dive Into The Deep Blue feat....
By Ithamara Koorax

Espelho Solar (Solar Mirror) Feat. Ithamara Koorax

From: Espelho Solar
By Ithamara Koorax

Flying Waltz

From: Saga
By Ithamara Koorax

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