Recently, we’ve been doing a lot of musical research for an exciting project (soon to be announced). During the course of all this listening, we have discovered some amazing sites that we want to share with you.

  1. https://brazilliance.wordpress.com/ This great archive has a huge index of songs, each with a bit of background and an embedded player in which you can listen to different versions.
  2. http://immub.org/ We were shocked to find how much music existed in this searchable discography. Some rare, out-of-print albums can be found here as well.
  3. http://www.jobim.org All of the master composer’s original manuscripts and works can be found at this lovingly maintained archive.

Enjoy!

This past weekend, we had the privilege of hearing one of the finest Brazilian jazz musicians around today: Portinho. (There’s a great interview with him at this link.) The master drummer plays at NYC’s Churrascaria Plataforma with his great trio, which includes Lincoln Goines on bass and Klaus Mueller on piano.

Portinho has performed with everyone from Nana Caymmi to Harry Belafonte. He recently released Vinho de Porto, an album with trombonist Jay Ashby; another recording he’s featured on is Bossarenova with the wonderful vocalist Paula Morelenbaum and the SWR Big Band out of Stuttgart.

It’s amazing that you can still catch Portinho from 6:30-11:30pm at 316 West 49th Street, NYC, most Fridays and Saturdays. (This is one of the few regular Brazilian jazz listening opportunities still in existence in the city; The Coffee Shop is closing, and the Zinc Bar has minimized its Brazilian jazz programming.)

First recorded in 1966, this has become one of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s most famous songs (of which there are so many!). This heartbreakingly beautiful live version, recorded by Jobim in 1981, is one of our favorites.

We are big fans of Nara Leão‘s, and especially of her repertoire choices. Her debut album, “Nara,” ends with a little musical treat: a rendition of Moacir Santos’ Nanã (originally Coisa No. 5). This memorable tune, which is given a bolero-like treatment sans chordal instruments on “Nara,” has been recorded by everyone from Flora Purim to Sergio Mendes. But we love this simple horn arrangement with sultry vocalise.

 

Here’s another beautiful song. Written by Durval Ferreira, Mauricio Einhorn and Bebeto, it’s been recorded by Wanda Sá (interesting piece on the singer), Nara Leão, Sergio Mendes, and Joyce, among others. Jobim recorded an instrumental version that references the trumpet outro in Sá’s rendition. One interesting thing about this tune is that in almost every version we’ve listened to, the intro is in a different key, so it’s kind of surprising when the actual tune begins. The memorable melody begins with wide intervals.

Sá, whose voice now reminds us somewhat of Betty Carter’s, sang with a breathy, girlish tone back in the bossa nova era. We are enchanted by the way she sings this song about nostalgia for a lost love.