Monday, August 26, 2013

Cristina Braga, Samba, Jazz and Love

Music. Where some lead, we follow. That is, if we like what we hear. With vocalist-harpist Cristina Braga, I most certainly like. At least I like her album Samba, Jazz and Love (Enja 9593 2). I like her singing, which has that quiet sweet intensity that has some relation to Astrud Gilberto, though clearly this is Cristina in her own voice, but with that gentle quality. She lays back a tad on the beat which gives the delivery a pronounced swing. And I like her harp. I generally love the harp anyway but she really can play (what she chooses to show us of it, this isn't a harp showcase per se); it's a beautiful sound she gets in this set of samba-bossa classics and some lesser known but all worthwhile. And I like the band, which is I believe all-Brazilian, with some nice vibes, trumpet, contrabass, and drums. By the way that bassist, Ricardo Medeiros, is the musical director and has no doubt much to do with the arrangements, which are quite nice.

So she leads, I follow. I mean that. To me good Brazilian samba jazz is one of the joys of life. (Of course there are many joys, but it is one.) Combine a beautiful set of songs, a beautiful voice, a loosely swinging band and that harp playing of hers, and you have something. Really something good. Just get it. You'll get it.

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