Joyce, Samba Jazz & Outras Bossas

Dave Stelfox

By Dave Stelfox

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Samba Jazz & Outras Bossas


Joyce Silveira Palhano de Jesus is widely recognised as being among the most important names in contemporary Brazilian music. Since cementing her reputation with 1968's still delightful eponymous debut album, the singer has gone on to become an author, broadcaster, newspaper columnist and one of the nation's best-loved cultural figures. Responsible for an apparently endless archive of material, her work occupies a central place in the MCB (Musica Creativa Brasileira) movement and has been covered by everyone from Astrud Gilberto to Caetano Veloso.

Author, broadcaster, newspaper columnist and, oh yeah, one of Brazil’s finest musicians.

Now, celebrating her 30-year working relationship with husband and percussionist Tutty Moreno, Samba Jazz & Outras Bossas does exactly what it says on the label. Among its 13 tracks are five fresh interpretations of classic standards — including Elza Soares'”Devagar Com A Louca” and Joyce's own “Mágica" — and eight new compositions. Ranging from the diaphanous swing of “Shangri La” and “Bodas de Vinil” to the bristling effervescence of “Sabe Quem?” and “Penalty,” it achieves a perfect balance of weight and restraint. Despite the light touch of pianist Helio Alves and trumpeter Lula Galvão, Moreno's drumming and Jorge Helder's bass provide a heavy, propulsive foundation. Meanwhile Joyce's voice remains a rare pleasure, jumping from delicate and seductive melodies to dizzying scats on the flip of a centavo.