Continuing Her Journey
On her third solo album, Katia Bronstein proves again to be a beautiful voiced singer with a progressive creative mind. Katia keeps on shaping and re-shaping her music. On Espacial the singer/composer from Rio gently drifts away from her musical influences to a sound that more and more is uniquely hers. A small army of producers and a bunch of well chosen accompanying musicians help to create an album that only has bright moments. Despite the fact that the various producers give each song its own character, the album still sounds like a whole.
The opening song “Mundo Grande” immediately sets a quality mark on the CD. This composition, co-written with long time friend and musical partner Suely Mesquita, also highlights a remarkable aspect in Katia’s music: the mystic presence of Arabian/Eastern European folkloric influences. Brazilian music is generally known to be very open minded. Katia proves it again with this rather strange mix, which works very well. Accompanied by her current tour band (Marcos Cunha (guitars, keys), Gustavo Corsi (guitars), Plínio Profeta (bass) and Jam da Silva (drums)), Katia securely works her way through the at moments dark arrangement. “Viajei” is the next station in Katia’s spacey journey. When Katia toured through Brazil’s northeast with the famous Pixinguinha Project (May 2006), she found Vitor Ramil appearing with her in the same concert series. The long time friends started working together again and that resulted in Vitor’s contribution of this wonderful piece of music. The musician from the south of Brazil is on guitar and backing vocals. Percussionist Marcos Suzano impresses with a gentle hidden bossa approach together with keyboardist Daniel Jobim. Modest special effects are added by Chico Neves, the producer of this song who also worked with Cidade Negra, Paralamas, Skank, Lenine and many other stars in Brazilian pop music. “Cais” is one of the two Brazilian standards on this album. This composition by Milton Nascimento and Ronaldo Bastos, gets a typical lounge-bossa arrangement. The beautiful acoustic bass lines by Dé Palmeira and the deep accordion by Lars Hokerberg are brilliantly supported by Jam da Silva, who drums with a jazzy touch. Jamilson da Silva (Recife, 1976) has worked with DJ Dolores and is member of the band F.ur.t.o. (Frente Urbana de Trabalhos Organizados) and currently also works for vocalist Paula Toller. He’s part of Katia’s band since her German tour in 2006. The title track “Espacial’ features the creative minds of guitarist JR Tostoi and backing vocalist Cecília Spyer. They both love to experiment with sounds to create a special atmosphere, which, by the way is exactly what the music of Katia B is about. João Barone (Paralamas) is on drums. “Canto de Alegria” is without doubt the album’s friendliest song. Like all good pop songs, this melody easily finds a place in your memory. The acoustic guitars of Walter Villaça (mainly known for his work with Cassia Eller) form a secure background for the disarming voice of Katia. On “Destiny (Be My Friend)” this disarming vocal seduction is ruthlessly utilized. Against a mysterious background, laid down by the fantastic Sacha Amback and Marcos Cunha, Katia uses all her trademarks. With her sweet, sometimes whispering voice, switching between Portuguese and English, Katia shows a perfect balance and respect between voice and instrumentation. This composition by Vitor Ramil couldn’t have found a better interpretation. The song is also featured in a lovely stripped off duo setting with Vitor Ramil on guitar (and backing vocals) as a bonus track. The following “Dança do Ventre da Guerra” is immersed in an Arabian ambience created by Lucia Morelenbaum on clarinets (arranged by Jacques Morelenbaum) and Marcos Suzano on various Arabian percussion instruments. Katia wrote the song with Fausto Fawcett, who’s one of Brazil’s multi creative souls. “Vou te Esquecer” is a quiet and beautiful pop ballad. “O Amor em Paz” is the second standard on the cd. Written by Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes, this composition is among many Brazilians most favorite songs. Katia sings it in a rather traditional way, accompanied by the acoustic guitar of Rodrigo Campello. It would sound like another rendition of a great bossa, were it not that guitar wizard Júnior Tostoi aggressively disrupts the bossa rhythm in the background of the arrangement. It gives the song an unexpected twist. Katia dedicates “Até o Entardecer” to her grandmother Bertha Bronstein. The song, composed with vocalist Cecília Spyer, is a beautiful meeting of two vocalists who are always searching for perfect balances. Katia and Cecília impressively complement each other in this marvelous pop ballad. An English horn, played by Victor Astorga adds to the beautiful sentiment. The album closes with the bonus remix of “Mundo Grande”, that kind of rounds off the cd.
And so Katia B again delivers a more than interesting album with which she certainly could reach a much wider audience. Katia B has grown to her own style, leaving all the obvious comparisons behind. She has the talent to tastefully use the possibilities of electronics in combination with acoustic instruments and her perfect vocals.
Sound clips and lyrics of all the songs can be found on Katia B’s renewed bilingual website.
MCD 345 (2007)
- Mundo Grande (Katia B – Suely Mesquita)
- Viajei (Vitor Ramil)
- Cais (Milton Nascimento – Ronaldo Bastos)
- Espacial (Katia B – Lucas Santtana)
- Canto de Alegria (Katia B)
- Destiny (Be My Friend) (Vitor Ramil)
- Dança do Ventre da Guerra (Katia B – Fausto Fawcett)
- Vou Te Esquecer (Katia B)
- O Amor em Paz (AC Jobim – Vinícius de Moraes)
- Até o Entardecer (Katia B – Cecília Spyer)
- Destiny (Be My Friend) (Vitor Ramil) acoustic version
- Mundo Grande (Katia B – Suely Mesquita) remix