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ALBUM REVIEWS

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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]). ...

INTERVIEWS

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 ...

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ithamara Koorax: Autumn in New York

Read "Autumn in New York" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Spilling over with jazz and pop classics, Autumn in New York is probably the best program yet from blossoming Brazilian vocalist Ithamara Koorax.

Like almost every other female vocalist from Brazil, Koorax sounds influenced by Flora Purim--heard, for example, in her fearless hopscotch jumps across the endpoints of her entire vocal range. Also like Purim, Koorax has been tinted by classic jazz harmonies and phrasings--and not just by vocalists (though Ella Fitzgerald and Shirley Horn are obvious influences), ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ithamara Koorax: Love Dance: The Ballad Album

Read "Love Dance: The Ballad Album" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Ithamara Koorax has released several albums in Brazil and Japan, but Love Dance is only the second US album for this star from Rio, the follow-up to her debut Serenade in Blue.

With her unmistakable voice, Koorax sings English, Portuguese, and Spanish love songs composed by such masters as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Luiz Bonfá, Marcos Valle and Ivan Lins, plus songs by Claus Ogerman and Jurgen Friedrich (in German). Her voice manifests this diversity to its advantage: ...