Dec 07 2007

Josee Koning: Bem Brasileiro

Having Fun


Josee Koning: Bem BrasileiroIt makes sense that Dutch singer Josee Koning chose to feature Nosso Trio on her new album Bem Brasileiro. Like the Brazilian trio [Nelson Faria (guitar), Ney Conceição (bass) and Kiko Freitas (drums)], Josee also is in full control of her instrument, the voice. Also like Nosso Trio, Josee dedicates that extraordinary quality to the music she performs, rather than to make a showcase out of it. The result is a relaxed high quality album with a nice variety of Brazilian music.

The repertoire looks quite familiar with songs like “Que Pena,” “Água de Beber,” “Curumim” and “Memória da Pele,” but you can leave it to Josee to make them sound fresh. On Jorge Ben’s “Que Pena,” the great Marcos Suzano does the trick with his up front recorded pandeiro. The supportive bass lines from this album’s producer Rodolfo Stroeter and the nostalgic Fender Rhodes piano by Rafael Vernet are Josee’s other companions. In a very joyful and original way, Josee provides herself with backing vocals, which kind of underlines the pleasure the singer finds in recording classics like this. The rendition of “Água de Beber” is a very jazzy one; only guitar and vocals. Nelson Faria delivers a wonderful solo and also adds some Jobim-like accompanying vocals.

“Curumim” (by Djavan) features an acoustic guitar solo by Nelson Faria and a delightful trumpet solo by Paulinho Trumpete, who (unlike his name suggests) also adds pulsing trombone lines to support his own trumpet playing. “Memória da Pele” is a surprising duet with its composer João Bosco. Josee respectfully adjusts her voice to João’s range.  Josee also doesn’t shy back to perform Gilberto Gil’s hit song “De Onde Vem o Baião.” Guitarist Webster Santos signed for the arrangement. As you might expect from someone who worked with Ceumar, Zélia Duncan and Zeca Baleiro, Webster managed to keep the original flavor without sounding dated.

Josee Koning

The accordion (Toninho Ferragutti) and the zabumba and triangle (Dido Batera) perform in the best forró tradition. That Josee has a special place in her heart for bossa nova can be witnessed on the beautiful Ivan Lins and Celso Viáfora composition “Atlântida,” which features the acoustic guitar of Josee’s former band member Leonardo Amuedo. “Voz e Violão” is a newly composed bossa (Sérgio Santos), wonderful accompanied by the Nosso Trio with the addition of flutist Carlos Malta (among others). On “Iaô” the bridge between black Bahian music and jazz is made by a well inspired solo on the Fender Rhodes by Ferial Karamat Ali, the Holland based Surinam pianist who often performs with Josee.  “Diz Que Tem,” the samba-batuque that was written for Carmem Miranda in 1940 by Vicente Paiva Ribeiro and Aníbal Cruz, adds a frivolous interlude on the cd. On “Pé do Lageiro,” in an arrangement by accordionist Toninho Ferragutti, Josee takes the opportunity to record with ex-student, friend and colleague Lilian Vieira. The singer from the Dutch based Brazilectro drum’n’bass band Zuco 103 clearly enjoys singing this composition by João do Vale, going back to her musical roots.

Josee Koning

After listening to this album it’s very clear that Josee Koning, as always, happily wanders around in her musical Walhalla, singing the songs she likes most with musicians she can’t get enough of. With her perfect vocal talent, Josee doesn’t have to worry about how to perform. It’s more a matter of what to perform, and she does pretty well with that too! With Rodolfo Stroeter (São Paulo; 1958), who also worked (as a bassist) with artists like Milton Nascimento, Joyce, Edu Lobo, Chico Buarque, and Gilberto Gil, Josee found the perfect producer for her album. An excellent follow up for Recorded in Rio (2003), or actually her album Verdronken Vlinder from 2005, but that was sung in her native language Dutch, although the arrangements were Brazilian!

For information about how to get the album, you can visit Josee at her website.



Josee Koning 
Bem Brasileiro 
Coast to Coast CTC 2990500 (2007)
Time: 52’01”


  1. De Onde Vem o Baião (Gilberto Gil)
  2. Voz e Violão (Sérgio Santos)
  3. Curumim (Djavan)
  4. Memória da Pele (João Bosco – Wally Salomão) w/ João Bosco
  5. Atlântida (Ivan Lins – Celso Viáfora)
  6. Yê-Melê (Luiz Carlos Vinhas – Chico Feitosa)
  7. Iaô (Rodolfo Stroeter)
  8. Que Pena (Jorge Ben Jor)
  9. Diz Que Tem (Vicente Paiva – Aníbal Cruz)
  10. Dançapé (Mário Gil – Rodolfo Stroeter)
  11. Água de Beber (Antônio Carlos Jobim – Vinícius de Moraes)
  12. Lua Candeia (Lenine – Paulo César Pinheiro)
  13. Pé do Lageiro (João do Vale)