Tuesday, June 5, 2007

"Brazilian Butterfly" - DownBeat review (4 stars)

Ithamara Koorax "Brazilian Butterfly"
4-star Review - DownBeat Magazine - February 2007
*** Rating: 4 starsBrazilian singer

Ithamara Koorax is delightfully unpredictable in her music.Her new album is a far cry from "Love Dance", her sultry lovefest ofsophisticated ballads. This mind-stretching sampler showcases her intimatedialogues with superb musicians (Dom Um Romão and Gonzalo Rubalcaba areback), flashing moods and eye-blink arrangements of scintilating tunes. Theenergy level and timing (78 minutes long) push the max as Koorax leapsheadlong into steamy, sexy and in-your-ear singing.

"Brazilian Butterfly" flutters free with Koorax's embracing virtuosity andastonishing range, and frames her crazy-quilt with jungle jams where toppercussionists Romão and Eloir de Moraes "talk the blues" over her volcanicvocalese and feral screeches. Koorax pours impure passion and hymnicsimplicity into earthy Bahiana wailers by Dorival Caymmi, and goeshead-to-head in raw duo with Thiago de Mello's berimbau, with stirring vocalunderdubs.

There's no let-up to this party until Koorax sweetly flaunts her command ofjazz vernacular on Herbie Hancock's "Butterfly" and voluptuously purrsPixinguinha's fabled "Carinhoso". This is Koorax's vital exploration ofblack Brazilian roots.

- Fred Bouchard
copyright 2007, DownBeat

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