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Ella & The Bossa Beat: In the Moment

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Ella Borges
Pianist, Guitarist, Singer, Songwriter, Composer and Arranger, Ella Borges

Not since Flora Purim, the otherworldly-sounding vocalist celebrated for her work with the legendary percussionist Airto Moreira and Chick Corea [cue 500 Miles High from the album Light as a Feather], has Brasil produced a voice artist – and instrumentalist, one might add – with the prodigious gifts as the wraithlike vocalist Ella Borges.

Her music – and she co-composes much of it on In The Moment [her second album] is like a temperate-cool in the everglades [she grew up in Florida] with just enough steamy vapour to suggest a steamy kind of seduction that is never very far off. Miss Borges is, after all, culturally Brasilian and even she tends to deliver the lyric with a certain restraint, you are almost sure that a lustrous refulgence in expression is always imminent.  

Ella & The Bossa Beat: In the Moment
Ella & The Bossa Beat: In the Moment

Miss Borges is accompanied by her father Magrus Borges, who is a wizened instrumentalist with considerable experience as a drummer and percussionist on many a studio date. Her father is not the only stellar musician who is on this album, however; the group of musicians who interpret Miss Borges’ songs includes a clutch of regular musicians who are frequently called upon to bring lustre to studio dates of many a musicians in the area.

On Miss Borges’ recording the playing is quite stellar. On the chart Dreamer, for instance, the contrasts between spacious musical landscape and the bluesy vernacular nestle perfectly – almost as if the two translucent templates were made for each other. On the Portuguese numbers – O Tempo Traz and Estrellas No Ceu – the harmonics are pointillistic and the lyricism [in both cases] is appropriately spare, in order to convey something precious that is slipping away and becoming distant.

It would be tempting to label Miss Borges a miniaturist since pieces such as Forever and Slipping Away [among others] are particularly efficient at distilling their emotional states. The former makes its mark in sonic terms, its rather conventional orchestration expanding to incorporate luminous harmonics. The latter focuses on expressive duration, inclusively embracing its [the music’s] wide range of musical contrasts rather than wielding them as stark juxtapositions.

As In the Moment suggests Mis Borges’ music evokes a very delicate, yet physical language of emotion love, presented with a range of contrasts in an integrated whole. And she emerges as one of the loveliest practitioners of the vocal arts in the mould of the great Miss Purim.  

Deo gratis…

Tracks – 1: Speak from the Heart; 2: Why; 3: Dreamer; 4: O Tempo Traz; 5: Forever; 6: Show Me the Way; 7: Estrelas No Ceu; 8: Slipping Away; 9: What Happened to Our Love?

Musicians – Ella Borges: vocals, piano and keyboards, and bass; Magrus Borges: drums and percussion; Kim Freitas: acoustic guitar; Greg Little: trumpet; Larry Williams: trumpet; Rodrigo Sha: saxophone; Alain Bradette: saxophone; Ruvit Bracho: violin; Jonathan Dills: cello

Released – 2022
Label – Independent
Runtime – 40:27

YouTube Video – Fly me to the moon – Ella & The Bossa Beat

Based in Milton, Ontario, Canada, Raul is a poet, musician and an accomplished critic whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep understanding of music, technically as well as historically.

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