March 29, 2009
Sunday Wax Bits
CD discovery of the week.
Back in 2006, Swiss trumpeter Peter Scharli and Brazilian vocalist Ithamara Koorax came together in Zurich to record a beautiful album called Obrigado Dom Um Romao. The result is a tender tribute to Brazilian percussionist Dom Um Romao. ("Obrigado" is Portuguese for "thank you.")
Romao had introduced Scharli to Ithamara, who became so excited by the sound of Scharli's trumpet that she agreed to record and tour Europe with both artists. But before the tour began, Romao died at age 82. So Scharli and Ithamara decided to dedicate the CD to him.
On the album, Scharli and Ithamara perform a series of duets, with Ithamara singing in Portuguese on 8 of the 10 tracks. On two tracks (Love for Sale and I Fall in Love Too Easily), Ithamara sings in English. But perhaps the most fascinating songs feature Ithamara singing vocalese in Portuguese. On Vocaliste and Miniature IV, she uses Swingle Single-like tones to match Scharli's trumpet tones, note for note. The result is quite fascinating as the pair come together or joust in counterpoint.
Ithamara's voice throughout is passionate, and her phrasing is soft and caressing. Scharli's trumpet is pinpoint sharp without being too strong or loud. Joining Ithamara and Scharli are Markus Stalder on guitar and Thomas Durst on bass. Romao plays berimbao on one track, Manha de Carnaval. - Marc Myers