Cristina Braga: Samba, Jazz, and Love
Cristina Braga on Voice and Harp
Ricardo Madeiros on Double Bass
Jessé Sadoc on Trumpet and Flugelhorn
Joca Moraes on Alfalfa Drums and Tambourin
Arthur Dutra on Vibraphone
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
August 10, 2013
This CD is a uniquely arranged selection of the crème de la crème of Sambas, but performed by Cristina Braga on vocals and harp, as well as the Modern Samba Quartet, on bass, trumpet/flugelhorn, drums/tambourin, and vibraphone. This is a CD I had to listen to twice, it’s so effervescent and extraordinary. Ms. Braga sings with feathery lightness and tonal perfection. There’s pure joy in each note.
#2 – O Barquinho – Composed by Menescal/Bôscoli. This track, that could lullaby the listener to blissful reverie, features Ms. Braga on whispery vocals and harp, supported by Arthur Dutra’s vibes and Jessé Sadoc’s flugelhorn. The music is a luscious feast of elegance, with the vibes soulfully sultry. Bass and brushes infuse an undulating rhythm that swoons of Sao Paulo.
#3 – Samba e Amor – Composed by Buarque. This very danceable track features the vibes and a muted trumpet, in a lively Samba, sung with eloquence, by Ms. Braga. There’s some fervor and heat here, with contagious melody and iridescent harmonies. The brilliance of Ms. Braga’s recording is taking standards from the genre and making them singular and distinctive.
#7 – Só Danço Samba – Composed by T. Jobim/Moraes. Ms. Braga’s harp is featured on this track both in sumptuous backup rhythms and in leading the animated theme. This is another danceable track, with muted trumpet, impassioned percussion, and vivacious vocals. Ricardo Madeiros, on bass, has a duo riff with Joca Moraes on percussion, adding intensity to the momentum.
#9 – Canta Mais – Composed by T. Jobim/Moraes. Ms. Braga’s voice is fully fused on this track as an additional instrument, with bits of song attached to harp and vibraphone, as the melody is filtered through a mellow glow. The bass is particularly refined, adding earthiness and tempo, while percussion and muted brass drift through.