Jussanam is a brazilian singer living in Iceland since 2008, so her new album entitled Rio/Reykjavik is a reference to, her native Rio de Janeiro, Brasil and the place she now calls home, Reykjavik, Iceland.
Besides recording outstanding versions of the Jobim classics, “Águas de Março”, very similar in tempo and voice tone to Elis Regina’s version, “Fotografia”, and “Água de Beber”, Jussanam reveals herself as an accomplished composer. She co-wrote the sambas “Amanha é Carnaval”, the Brazilian flavored jazz songs “Verão BH”, and “Quer Saber?”, and the interesting composition “O Telefonema”. This track is the jazzier one on the release and starts with an intro sequence of phone recorded messages and ends with a bluesy guitar solo by Asgeir Asgeirsson. Haukur Grondal adds the jazz touch with his melodic sax on “Quer Saber”, “Águas de Março” and “Água de Beber”.
It was also a pleasant surprise to find the name of my friend Manny Cepeda as a co-writer with Jussanam of the samba “Foi você Baiana”. This is a song about falling in love with a baiana, a woman from Bahia. Manny is a Puerto Rican musician/composer living in the United States, and member of the Cepeda family, recognized for keeping the tradition of Bomba music in Puerto Rico.
The album also includes the romantic pop ballad “Voce ganhou meu coracão” and the bossa, “Getta hver hun er”, which Jussanam sings perfectly in Icelandic.
Tracks: Amanha é Carnaval, Foi você Baiana, Verão BH, O Telefonema, Quer Saber?, Águas de Março, Fotografia, Àgua de Beber, Gettu hver hun er, Voce Ganhou meu Coraçao.
Personnel: Jussanam – vocals, Asgeir Asgeirsson – guitar, Birgir Bragason – bass, Matthias Hemstock – drums, Cheick Bangoura – percussion, Haukur Grondal – sax, Agnar Mar Magnusson – piano.
Jussanam on the Web: jussanam.com
Label: Self-Produced | Release date: November 2012
Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre