3

Emy Tseng: Sonho

Nicholas F. Mondello By

Sign in to view read count
Emy Tseng: Sonho Fifty-plus years after saxophonist Stan Getz and singer/guitarist Astrud Gilberto captured composer Antonio Carlos Jobim and served up bossa nova for popular consumption, musicians continue to eagerly return to Brazilian classics. Logically, the integration of attractive bossa textures with the Great American Songbook has been another phenomenon. Thus, the bossa nova resource has been incredibly robust and long-lived.

With Sonho, her debut CD, Washington, DC-based vocalist Emy Tseng shrewdly embraces and expands the genre by selecting gorgeous material from Brazilian composers not commonly recognized or performed. And, when framed by an intelligent, artistically motivated team of players, the result is an exquisite bossa nova portrait delivered by a talented artist with a marvelously understated, yet appropriately passionate approach to the robust material.

Taiwanese-born and Ivy League educated, Tseng possesses vocal restraint and a delicate delivery that is elegant, beautiful—and passionate. She's never in competition with her lyric or with the accompanying musicians. Singing in both English and romantically flavored Portuguese, Tseng's ability to translate emotion from foreign language is superb. Her intonation and phrasing are deadly accurate across the date.

Virtually the entire CD is Brazilian—based, and it shines. In addition to an obligatory Jobim selection ("Brigas Nunca Mais"), the works of Brazilian composers such as Toninho Horta, Caetano Veloso, Baden Powell, Ivan Lins, and Chico Pinheiro are introduced. And it is in that bossa nova format that Tseng and crew really excel. The arrangements by Leonardo Lucini and Matvei Sigalov are superb and the orchestration assignments, such as pitting Tseng against Andy Connell's clarinet ("Coração Vagabondo") or Matvei' Sigalov's guitar and violin ("Na Beira Do Rio," "I Thought About You") help make the date memorable.

The exceptions to the South American tone are an oddly present but poetically delivered version of the Mamas and Papas' hit, "California Dreamin'" and two Great American Songbook selections, "I Thought About You" and "Close Your Eyes," both of which have a faint Blossom Dearie overtone. While Tseng's bossa nova chops are stellar, the Songbook material warrants an earthier, looser approach.

Sonho, which translates as "dream," introduces some exotically beautiful material performed by a vocal artist of significant talent and potential. It's a bravura first sojourn on Ipanema Beach.

Track Listing: Aquelas Coisas Todas; Deixa; California Dreamin'; Berimbau; Coracao Vagabundo; Brigas Nunca Mais; Heliahthella (Little Sunflower); se Dependesse De Mim; I Thought About You; Na Beira Do Rio; Close Your Eyes.

Personnel: Emy Tseng: vocals; Matvei Sigalov: acoustic guitar (1, 3, 7-9, 10), violin (9); Roberto Berimbau: percussion (1, 8, 10); David Jernigan: bass (1, 7, 9, 11); Alejandro Lucini: drums (1, 2, 4-8); Wayne Wilentz: keyboard (1, 6); Rogerio Souza: acoustic guitar (2, 4-6); Andy Connell: clarinet (2, 5), soprano saxophone (4, 6); Leonardo Lucini: bass (2, 4-6); Bruno Lucini: percussion (2, 4-6); Lyle Link: tenor saxophone (7).

Title: Sonho | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Screen Sounds CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read The Bug CD/LP/Track Review The Bug
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Sing Me Some Cry CD/LP/Track Review Sing Me Some Cry
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "Morning Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Do For You?" CD/LP/Track Review Do For You?
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 5, 2017
Read "Nigerian Spirit" CD/LP/Track Review Nigerian Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: May 29, 2017
Read "Chronosome" CD/LP/Track Review Chronosome
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Crack-Up" CD/LP/Track Review Crack-Up
by Doug Collette
Published: June 19, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.