Brazilian Whispers… How appropriate is that as the title for an album by Andrea Brachfeld. Not only does the instrument she plays – the flute – lend itself to the kind of meditative Brasilian (how the word is actually meant to be spelled) music but the music itself “speaks” – indeed “whispers” – in a very special way to Miss Brachfeld. The repertoire on this album is no exception. Featuring exquisitely crafted arrangements of mesmeric variety and sensuousness, in every lovingly crafted phrase Brazilian Whispers, Miss Brachfeld’s love for Antonio Carlos Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes and Chico Buarque shines brightly.
Her material, with three notable originals and one piece – a well-known one by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans – judiciously focuses on a few lesser-known (or, at least, played) gems associated with various groups led by Jobim. Listening to the manner in which Miss Brachfeld seductively bends the notes of “Passarim” and “Ligia”, and how she sculpts the long, sustained inventions of “Amparo” and the eternal melody of “Girl from Ipanema” it’s clear that there’s not a single semiquaver that hasn’t been fastidiously considered.
The album also features long-time musical associate, the formidable musical intellect and pianist Bill O’Connell together with the incomparable bassist Harvie S as well as Lincoln Goines, guitarist Roni Ben-Hur (a Brasileiro at heart), the great Portinho and Jason Tiemann on drums with Wilson “Chembo” Corniel imposing the grandeur and sonic richness of his percussion colours. Each of these stellar musicians appears to be completely attuned to Miss Brachfeld’s vision and artistry.
While everything delights enormously, make no mistake, it is the mellifluous timbres of Miss Brachfeld’s flutes that beguiles more than anything else as she sashays her way through this material that ends with two remarkable “original” works – “Triste e Solitaria” and “Espaço Aberto” – composed in the uniquely Brasilian manner on this truly memorable album.
Track list – 1: Double Rainbow; 2: Passarim; 3: Waters of March; 4: Amparo; 5: Sonhos e Cores; 6: Samba Medley: Piano na Mangueira/Olele Olala/O Nosso Amor; 7: Never Let Me Go; 8: Ligia; 9: Girl From Ipanema; 10: Triste e Solitaria; 11: Espaço Aberto
Personnel – Andrea Brachfeld: C flute and alto flute (2, 4, 7); Bill O’Connell: piano and Fender Rhodes (1, 8, 10); Harvie S: (1, 3, 4, 7, 10); Jason Tiemann: drums: (1, 3, 4, 7, 10); Roni Ben-Hur: guitar (1, 4-6, 8, 9); Lincoln Goines: electric bass (2, 5, 8, 9, 11) and surdo (6); T. Portinho: drums (2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11) and percussion (6); Chembo Corniel: percussion and congas (2-6, 8, 11)
Released – 2020
Label – Origin Records (82795)
Runtime – 1:03:21