Four years ago, I had the pleasure of reviewing Teresa Ines’ debut album, Live in Boston. In that review, I closed by saying that I couldn’t help but wonder what Ines would sound like in a studio recording. So, here we are presented with a nicely produced and artistically performed gem featuring Teresa Ines singing Brazilian classics from Baden Powell, Haroldo Barbosa, Lenine, Chico Cesar, Tom Jobim and Edu Lobo. Her impeccable taste in choosing these numbers receive beautiful arrangements by the musicians accompanying her.
Ines’s band has expanded a little in this recording. Hiro Honshuku is back on the flute, and he shares those solos with Fernando Brandão (also on flute) in several tracks. On piano, Nando Michelin handles the keys with class and some gorgeous solos. Fernando Huergo is on bass. Cabello Rolim does a beautiful berimbau solo in “Beradero,” and completing the basic ensemble we find Steve Langone on drums and Pedro Ito on drums and percussion. Special guests Laura Arpiainen and Sam Ou add violin and cello solos in “Com Sabor.” With those musicians behind her, Teresa Ines adds her acoustic guitar and has full control of her performances and touching vocals.
Ave Rara is a very well chosen title for this CD, for the music you hear is truly performed with rare beauty. Not forgetting her creative side, Ines finds plenty of room in the album to add four of her own compositions, which, by the way, blend in nicely along with the classic repertoire in this release. Overall, Ave Rara has a clear feel of soft Brazilian jazz with most arrangements taking advantage of the small ensemble to explore the nuances in each track performed here. For example, the opening track, Lenine’s “Tuaregue e Nagô,” adds a very nice instrumental solo in which voice and flute play off each other’s notes. Meanwhile, piano and percussion are also highlighted with great solos that will keep you listening attentively throughout the album. Even a samba classic such as Baden Powell’s “Consolação” receives a very effective jazzy cover without ever losing the delicious samba beat. For the very slow ballads, Ines pour her heart out in beautiful performances. Her own “Cores Frias” sings about love and disillusion of not knowing what is the eyes of the loved one. The same theme is approached again in “Com Sabor.” This time, the overall message is more positive:
O sonho é Pra cada mulher O que se faz O que se quer E vai Vai seguindo como dá Junta tudo o que se tem E espera um novo alguém
All women Have the same dream To be true To our heart’s desires And keep moving The way we can Gathering all we have learned To share with someone new
Though each track is nicely done, I must also point out two outstanding moments in the album besides what I previously said above. The title track, Edu Lobo and Aldir Blanc’s “Ave Rara,” and Tom Jobim’s “Fotografia” definitely deserve to be savored very carefully. “Ave Rara” is slow and deep giving each word in the lyrics more pronounced meaning. As for “Fotografia,” the minimalist introduction with a strong focus on flute and voice is exquisitely beautiful. When piano, bass and drums come in, you are already totally in love with this song all over again. The up-tempo sambas, “Meu Menino,” “Marambaia,” “Pra Que Discutir com Madame” and “Sapequinha” put Ines in a different light, proving how versatile and capable she is to tackle Brazilian music regardless of the genre. This harmony of samba and ballads makes Ave Rara a joy to be explored with its rare beauty in Ines’s solid performances.
To find out more about Teresa Ines, please visit her site.
- Tuaregue e Nagô (Lenine – Bráulio Tavares)
- Consolação (Baden Powell – Vinícius de Moraes)
- Cores Frias (Teresa Ines)
- Meu Menino (Teresa Ines)
- Fotografia (Antônio Carlos Jobim)
- Marambaia (Henricão – Rubens Campos)
- Beradero (Chico César)
- Com Sabor (Teresa Ines)
- Ave Rara (Edu Lobo – Aldir Blanc)
- Pra Que Discutir com Madame (Janet de Almeida – Haroldo Barbosa)
- Sapequinha (Teresa Ines)