4

Nilson Matta: Nilson Matta's Black Orpheus

Dr. Judith Schlesinger By

Sign in to view read count
Nilson Matta: Nilson Matta's Black Orpheus 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, Vinicius De Moraes, 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, Anat Cohen, and Randy Brecker 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, 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, 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.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Motema Music


Shop

More Articles

Read Welcome to Swingsville! CD/LP/Track Review Welcome to Swingsville!
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 26, 2017
Read Points of View CD/LP/Track Review Points of View
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 26, 2017
Read Migration Blues CD/LP/Track Review Migration Blues
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 26, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 26, 2017
Read N.O. Escape CD/LP/Track Review N.O. Escape
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 26, 2017
Read Reflections CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "Guitarist, Alone" CD/LP/Track Review Guitarist, Alone
by John Eyles
Published: August 5, 2016
Read "Father Figure" CD/LP/Track Review Father Figure
by David A. Orthmann
Published: May 8, 2016
Read "Blues, Preludes and Feuds" CD/LP/Track Review Blues, Preludes and Feuds
by Geannine Reid
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Furiously Dreaming" CD/LP/Track Review Furiously Dreaming
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 1, 2016
Read "Alpha Centauri" CD/LP/Track Review Alpha Centauri
by Mark F. Turner
Published: July 4, 2016
Read "Cornua Copiae" CD/LP/Track Review Cornua Copiae
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!