Mari Nobre – Live And Alive: From Gershwin To Jobim –  Chrome Records

by | Jun 2, 2017 | Jazz CD Reviews


Mari Nobre – Live And Alive: From Gershwin To Jobim –  Chrome Records 45:29 ***:

A musical journey worth taking

( Mari Nobre – vocals; Leo Nobre – bass; Justo Almario – sax & flute; Angelo Metz – acoustic & electric guitar; Sandro Feliciano – drums; Daniel Szabo – piano)

In this brief  but charming live recording, Italian-born singer Mari Nobre demonstrates her vocal dexterity and her facility in English, Portuguese and Spanish, as she runs through a session of primarily Latin and American standards under the title Live And Alive.

The opening track is an Antonio Carlos Jobim bossa “Chega De Saudade” ( No More Blues) which establishes the affecting tone of the recital with the acoustic guitar of Angelo Metz sets frame on which Nobre begins her wordless entrée to the tune. Once established, the number swings out in true bossa fashion with an infectious lilt. The segue is to Benny Golson’s “Whisper Not” and it is a lucid and straightforward interpretation of this jazz classic. Both pianist Daniel Szabo and tenor saxophonist Justo Almario dig in with well thought-out solos.

Although the album’s sub-title indicates that the song selections run from Gershwin To Jobim, there is only one George and Ira Gershwin composition and that is “Fascinating Rhythm” with the other American standard being “When I Fall In Love” by Victor Young and Edward Heyman. These two numbers are given strikingly different arrangements with the former done in a Latin vibe with a 7/4 time signature, and the latter is offered as a lovely ballad.

Two further selections that benefit from different harmonic shapes and keys are Jobim’s “Corcovado” and Alberto Domínguez’ “Frenesi”. As expected from a Jobim number is a slow samba that addresses the affection that the composer has for Rio de Janeiro with some intriguing harmony between Nobre and tenor saxophonist Almario. “Frenesi” became a hit in 1940 with a snappy recording by the Artie Shaw Orchestra. Nobre’s vocal is done in Spanish and harkens back to its origins as a cha cha with its charming rhythm.

Perhaps the gem of this outing is Leonard Cohen’s “ Dance Me To The End Of Love”. Cohen was Canadian icon who died in November 2016 and had an impact on music and poetry that went well beyond his Montréal roots. This composition was originally recorded by Cohen in 1984 for the album Various Positions. With an arrangement by bassist Leo Nobre, vocalist Mari Nobre takes full measure of the composition and delivers a perky,  and buoyant version of the composition.

Mari Nobre offers a musical journey worth taking.

Chega De Saudade
Whisper Not
Retrato em Branco E Preto
Fascinating Rhythm
When I Fall In Love
Dance Me To The End of Love

—Pierre Giroux

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