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Paula & Jaques Morelenbaum
Contemporary Bossa Nova

Berimbaum

Paula Morelenbaum
Berimbaum
(2004)

Paula Morelenbaum is known for absolutely authentic, traditional takes on bossa classis, particularly Tom Jobim, with whom she and her husband Jaques, performed. But here she is taking on the eletro/ bossacucanova/bebel/eletronica thing with rather strong results. My favorite track by far is the little samba well-known from the Black Orpheus soundtrack, Jobim's O Nosso Amor, which is rarely redone compared to other gems from that film. Here its just giddy with guitar by Luiz Brasil, shortened lyrics, and an almost childlike simplicity from the singer. The other tracks are also a pleasure -- not only because they draw on wonderful, classic compostions but because every arrangement is unique and not much of her husband's cello has been shoehorned into the project (normally his playing is great, but here it's really out of place.)


A Day in New York

Jacques Morelenbaum, Paula
Morelenbaum & Ryuichi Sakamoto
A Day in New York
(2004)

The second chapter of Morelenbaum2/Sakamoto, A Day In New York picks up where the trio’s moody and elegant 2002 debut, Casa, left off and broadens the vision. Rather than covering a broad spectrum of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s compositions while stressing lesser-known material, as it did on the debut, Morelenbaum2/Sakamoto does five more Jobim tunes and three songs from other composers as well as three new versions of songs that also appeared on Casa. The playing on this session (a studio date tacked to the end of a tour) is a little more upbeat than the moody debut. Nonetheless, the music is again absolutely stunning thanks to additional help from guitarist Luiz Brasil and percussionist Marcelo Costa. Highlights here include classics "Desafinado" and Joao Gilberto’s "Bim Bom" and "Insensetaz," all of which couldn’t have been done better. Filled with yearning romance, sentimental playing, and the tasteful restraint of classic bossa nova, A Day In New York is a fine follow-up to an excellent debut. --Tad Hendrickson


Morelenbaum (2)/Sakamoto: Casa (Tribute to Jobim)

Jaques Morelenbaum, Paula
Morelenbaum & Ryuichi Sakamoto
Casa
(2002)

"Casa" is the Portuguese word for "house." It's also the title of this melodic and moving tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim by the Oscar and Grammy award-winning pianist-composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, Brazilian cellist Jaques Morelenbaum, and his vocalist wife, Paula. The Morelenbaums, who cofounded Quarteto Jobim-Morelenbaum, both worked with the maestro, and almost all of the tracks here were recorded in Jobim's Rio home. The CD contains fluid and florid renditions of bossa nova-era classics from the Jobim canon, from "Amor em Paz"--with Jobim's son Paulo on guitar--and "Bonita" to "Vivo Sonhando." It also unveils rare songs like "Chanson pour Michelle," a short and sweet composition written for a soap opera, and a never-before-heard work, "Tema para Ana," an intimate piano/cello duet. Sakamoto's spare and splendid pianisms ring from Jobim's piano. Morelenbaum's singing cello tones complement his wife's angelic Portuguese and English vocals. Together this talented trio--with occasional accompaniment by percussionist Marcos Suzano, guitarist Luiz Brasil, vocalist Ed Motta, and bassist Zeca Assumpçao--beautifully exposes the French influences of Satie, Ravel, and Chopin in Jobim's music. --Eugene Holley, Jr.
 

Live in Tokyo 2001

Jaques Morelenbaum, Paula
Morelenbaum & Ryuichi Sakamoto
Live in Tokyo 2001

This album is a tribute and dedicated to the spirit of Antonia Carlos Jobim. Three musicians, Sakamoto on piano, Jaques Morelenbaum on cello and vocals by Paula Morlenbaum. The unique digipak packaging and design for this CD are as beautiful as the music presented. Recorded live in 2001 and is a companion piece to Casa, the beautiful studio album released in 2001 in Japan and 2002 in the U.S. A Warner/Japan only release. 15 tracks.
 


Quarteto Jobim Morelenbaum

Jaques Morelenbaum, Paula Morelenbaum, 
Paulo Jobim, and Daniel Jobim
Quarteto Jobim / Morelenbaum
(2000)

This quartet consists of cellist-arranger Jaques Morelenbaum, who played with Antonio Carlos Jobim on one of his last recordings, Passarim, before Jobim's death in 1994; Morelenbaum's wife, vocalist Paula; Jobim's grandson, pianist Daniel; and Jobim's son Paulo on guitar. On this CD not only do they extend Jobim's legacy into the 21st century, but in this chamber format they highlight the softer side of Jobim's bossa nova blend of the Afro-Brazilian samba, jazz, and the French impressionist harmonies of Ravel and Debussy. Augmented by bass, drums, and percussion, the quartet delivers engaging and ethereal renditions of classic Jobim mid-'60s bossa nova standards including "Agua de Beber," "Ela e' Carioca," "Meditacão," and "Desafinado," sung by Paulo. The haunting "A Felicidade" and "Lamento no Morro" from Jobim's Academy Award-winning soundtrack to Black Orpheus are updated with taste and verve, especially in the balance between voice and instrumentation. Paulo Jobim's "Mantiqueira Range" is a direct descendant of his grandfather's harmonic genius, and it may prove to be an example of pleasant things to come from this stunning group. --Eugene Holley Jr.
 

Also See:
Bossa Nova

Nova Bossa Nova


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