Thursday, May 5, 2011

"Música Clássica na Voz de Ithamara Koorax"

“Música Clássica na Voz de Ithamara Koorax” em duas apresentações no Teatro SESI, dias 10 e 17 de maio

Incensada pelo New York Times e eleita, por dois anos consecutivos, uma das três melhores cantoras de jazz do mundo pelos leitores das revistas DownBeat, Swing Journal e Jazz People - ao lado de Diana Krall e Cassandra Wilson -, ITHAMARA KOORAX é hoje uma das artistas brasileiras de maior sucesso no exterior. O crítico Frank-John Hadley, da DownBeat, sentenciou: "Ithamara Koorax é uma das mais belas vozes da criação".

Agora, dias 10 e 17 de maio de 2011, às 19hs, no Teatro SESI, a cantora volta a enveredar por outro repertório no espetáculo “Música Clássica na Voz de Ithamara Koorax – Opus II”, que ela já apresentou diversas vezes em recitais na Europa. Ao lado do pianista Filipe Bernardo e do violonista Rodrigo Lima, ela se dedica a um programa que vai do compositor inglês Henry Purcell ao nosso Villa-Lobos, passando também por obras de Chopin, Fauré, Ravel, Debussy, Borodin, Rachmaninoff, Richard Wagner, Delza Agrícola, Chiquinha Gonzaga, Alberto Nepomuceno e Claus Ogerman.

Os concertos terão ingressos a preços populares (R$ 20,00 e R$ 10,00, a meia entrada). O Teatro SESI fica na Avenida Graça Aranha, n° 1, no Centro do Rio de Janeiro.

Buscando a popularização da música clássica e erudita com o estímulo à formação de novas plateias, o projeto “Música Clássica na Voz de Ithamara Koorax II” conta com patrocínio da OI e apoio cultural da Lei de Incentivo à Cultura, da FIRJAN e da Oi Futuro.

Incluida entre as melhores cantoras da história do jazz na enciclopédia "The Jazz Singers" (organizada pelo historiador norte-americano Scott Yanow), a biografia de Ithamara atesta sua versatilidade, desafia rótulos e não se prende a estilos. "Gosto de todos os gêneros e acredito que a boa música é atemporal e universal, não conhece barreiras," afirma a cantora.

Ao longo de sua carreira, Ithamara já tocou e gravou com nomes como Tom Jobim, Elizeth Cardoso, Luiz Bonfá, Larry Coryell, Claus Ogerman, Dave Brubeck, John McLaughlin, João Donato, Hermeto Pascoal, Sadao Watanabe, Eumir Deodato, Dom Um Romão, Edu Lobo, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Peter Scharli, o grupo Azymuth e as Orquestras Petrobrás e Jazz Sinfônica. Lançou 14 CDs, participou de outros 150 discos, gravou quatro trilhas para cinema e dez temas para novelas da TV Globo.

Ithamara Koorax já se apresentou em alguns dos principais palcos do planeta - do Teatro Municipal (Rio) ao Jazz Café (Londres), do Martinus Concert Hall (Helsinki) ao Carreau du Temple (Paris), do EBS Space (Seul) ao Sanyo Hall (Tokyo), do U Stare Pani (Praga) ao Mahogany Hall (Berna), do Unterfahrt (Munich) ao Moods (Zurich), passando pela Sala Cecília Meirelles, Mistura Fina, Bourbon Street e Citibank Hall, festivais de jazz em países como Sérvia, Bulgária, República Tcheca, Portugal e Inglaterra (no prestigiado "Camden Town Jazz Festival"), além de ter realizado sete excursões pelo Japão e Coréia.

Ithamara Koorax's Classical Tour 2011

This month, Ithamara Koorax starts a new classical tour. The first two concerts will happen in Rio de Janeiro on May 10 & May 17 at the SESI Theater. The repertoire includes works by Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, Ravel, Fauré, Borodin, Wagner, Henry Purcell, Claus Ogerman, and the Brazilian composers Villa-Lobos, Delza Agricola, Alberto Nepomuceno and Chiquinha Gonzaga. The tour is sponsored by OI Telecommunication.

Considered one of the top singers in the contemporary jazz & Brazilian music scenes, Ithamara Koorax has been voted 3rd in the Downbeat 2008 and 2009 Readers Polls for 'Best Female Vocalist' (behind only Diana Krall and Cassandra Wilson), and is also featured as one the best jazz singers of all time in the book "The Jazz Singers - The Ultimate Guide," released in the USA by journalist and jazz historian Scott Yanow.

One of her latest acclaimed CDs, "Bim Bom - The Complete Joao Gilberto Songbook," a duo session with guitarist Juarez Moreira, received rave reviews in the New York Times, Cashbox, Billboard, Jazz Hot, Jazz 'n' More, All Music Guide, and many other magazines, websites and newspapers. Voted one of the Best Albums of 2009 by All About Jazz-NY, Village Voice and Latin Jazz Network, it was defined by JazzTimes' reviewer Christopher Loundon as "not only an album of gloriously elegant reverence but also a recording of essential importance."

Another recent CD, "O Grande Amor," recorded during an European tour with the Peter Schärli Trio in 2010, was also released with critical acclaim, receiving a 4 and 1/2 star review in the May 2011 issue of DownBeat magazine. "This a quiet, unassuming gem of a recording...She floats with lighter-than-air musical pillow talk. This woman has manifold ability," wrote jazz critic Kirk Silsbee.

Ithamara Koorax has recorded 14 solo albums (for the Milestone, Mercury, EMI, Irma, JVC, King, Huks and Motema labels), 15 soundtracks and took part in more than 200 special projects and compilations.

She has performed in the USA, Japan, Korea and many European countries (England, France, Germany, Swizerland, Czech Republic, Finland, Bulgaria, Serbia, Portugal etc), appearing at jazz festivals in London, Seoul, Belgrade, Funchal, Helsinki, Indijja and many other cities. Koorax has also performed classical and fusion concerts backed by Symphony Orchestras.

Koorax has worked with such artists as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Luiz Bonfa, Ron Carter, Larry Coryell, Elizeth Cardoso, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, John McLaughlin, Sadao Watanabe, Hermeto Pascoal, Marcos Valle, Peter Scharli, Jay Berliner, Edu Lobo, Martinho da Vila, Jürgen Friedrich, Claus Ogerman, Dave Brubeck, João Donato, Dom Um Romão, Thiago de Mello, Mario Castro-Neves, Raul de Souza, Chris Conway, Eumir Deodato, Lou Volpe, Laudir de Oliveira, Rodgers Grant, Gil Goldstein, Art Farmer, Eddie Gomez, the groups Azymuth, Gazzara and Os Cariocas, the big bands Amazon and Rio Jazz Orchestra, and the Symphony Orchestras "Petrobras" and "Jazz Sinfonica."

Her recordings have been remixed by top DJs from all over the world. Among them: Tom Novy, Parov Stelar, Cargo, Tetsu Shibuya/Brisa. During 2010, Ithamara performed 47 concerts in Brazil and 51 abroad, having toured Europe and Asia. In her latest Korean tour, in August 2010, Ithamara recorded an all-star project, "Arirang," alongside many pop Korean artists (like the pop group MIJI) and such jazz giants as guitarist Lee Ritenour & pianist/arranger Alan Broadbent, Diana Krall's conductor.

In the 2000s, Koorax has received high marks from DownBeat magazine on several occasions. "Ithamara Koorax has one of the loveliest voices in creation," DownBeat critic Frank-John Hadley wrote in the November 2008 issue of the jazz bible. "Koorax is delightfully unpredictable in her music...embracing virtuosity, astonishing range and volcanic vocalese," stated Fred Bouchard in a 4-star rave review (about her "Brazilian Butterfly" album) printed in the February 2007 issue of DownBeat.

According to renowned critic Thom Jurek, from the All Music Guide, "she is a diverse, adventurous, and utterly gifted vocalist. Koorax has set a new bar for jazz vocalists who come after her. As she does, they will need to embody many traditions and musical histories, root them in the tradition, and be able to comfortably combine as well improvise seamlessly with and between them."

"I quickly became a Koorax Konvert", wrote the famous jazz historian Ira Gitler. "Koorax is her own woman. She is multi-faceted and multi-lingual, comfortable in all situations and expressive in a variety of languages. Her range and technique are remarkable but you don't necessarily take time out to marvel at her technique until later on because you are too absorbed in her musical message. Her powerful singing speaks for itself with celestial eloquence."

"O Grande Amor"-DownBeat review, May 2011

DownBeat - May 2011 issue, Page 50
"O Grande Amor" - Reviewed by Kirk Silsbee
Rating: ****1/2

So often, singers function as featured entities, supported by but separate from the instrumental ensemble. This pairing of Brazilian singer Ithamara Koorax and the trio of Swiss trumpeter Peter Scharli is a rare instance of a voice working as another instrument. Koorax is singing songs here, to be sure, but her work is always within the instrumental context. As a result, this a quiet, unassuming gem of a recording.

Koorax and Scharli share simplicity of expression. That's not to say what they do is naive or rudimentary in any way. Her ethereal voice - singing in Portuguese throughout - packs much emotional implication in it. Likewise, his open trumpet - sounding fat enough to be taken for a cornet - always finds the shortest route to musical and emotional communication. With a voice scarcely larger (though an octave lower) than Blossom Dearie, Koorax authoritatively conjures compact majesty on the melodically beguiling "Setembro" and sings the rhythmic romp "Zum Zum" with no discernible fuss. Then she floats the title ballad with lighter-than-air musical pillow talk. This woman has manifold ability.

Scharli has a medium-dynamic attack and palpable body to his tone. He might not be as rhythmically ornamental as Koorax, but the contrast of his minimalism is a nice counterpoint to hers.

Pianist Hans-Peter Pfammetter is another minimal dynamo. Hammering one- and two-finger percussiveness on "Sandalia Dela" deftly hints at the Bahia carnaval without having to replicate it. He never overplays and instinctively leaves holes for Scharli to fill. This ensemble, and its collection of songs, is an inviting combination.

"O Grande Amor" - Jazz 'n' More review

March/April 2011, page 47
"O Grande Amor"
Rating: ***** (5 stars)

"Eine der besten Bossa-Nova-CDs der lezten Jahre." Das steht nicht etwa in Pesstext, sondern dies ist die Meinung vieler Musiker in Brasilien, von wo Peter Scharli gerade zurückgekehrt ist. Mehrere Tourneen mit dieser Band zusammen mit der brasilianischen Ausnahmesängerin Ithamara Koorax haben die Mitglieder wie einen Tresor zusammengeschweisst.
Schon beim ersten Titel, dem Klassiker "Fotografia" (Jobim), wird die Latte hoch gesetzt: Pianoeinleitung von Hans-Peter Pfammatter, der Bass von Thomas Dürst, welcher mit der einfühlsamen Stimme von Ithamara Koorax einsetzt und schlussendlich die Trompete von Peter Schärli, der mit seinem sensiblen Spiel das Ganze vollendet abrundet.
So geht es die ganze CD weiter. Ithamara Koorax' respektvolle Neu-Interpretationen dieser Bossa-Nova-Klassiker sind zugleich eine Rückbesinnung und ein Versuch, diese berühmten Werke neu zu erfinden und ihnen neues Leben, im wahrsten Sinne, einzuhauchen.
Ein Versuch, der zu 100 Prozent gelungen ist. Diese CD hat gar nichts mit den einschlägigen Bossa-nova-Lounge-CDs zu tun, sondern "that's the real thing". Neben all diesen Klassikern von Jobim, Peranzzetta, de Moraes, Barroso, reiht sich die Eigenkomposition von Hans-Peter Pfammatter "Wedileto" nahtlos ein. Das ist perfekte Handwerkskunst, die unter die Haut geht. Musik als reinste Poesie. gf.

"O Grande Amor" - Rifftides review

Peter Schärli, Ithamara Koorax, "O Grande Amor" (TCB)
Reviewed by Doug Ramsey on "Rifftides," voted best jazz blog of 2010 by the Jazz Journalists Association Poll

Koorax’s soft voice is an instrument of tonal precision, innate swing and a variety of emotional inflection. She joins Swiss trumpeter Schärli’s trio (pianist Hans-Peter Pfammatter and bassist Thomas Dürst) in a collection of songs mostly by writers from Koorax’s native Brazil. The exception is Pfammatter’s “Wedileto,” which holds its own with pieces by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Ary Barroso, Vinicius de Moraes and other major Brazilian composers. Koorax and Schärli share the use of quietness to achieve expressive power. Each of their solos on the title tune is a prime example of that ability. The way the Swiss swing with Koorax through the samba rhythms of Baden Powell’s “Deixa” and Fernando Lobo’s “Zum Zum” suggests that there must be favelas in Geneva, Bern and Zurich.

"O Grande Amor" - Sound Insights review

In their second recording together, Swiss trumpeter Peter Schärli and Brazilian singer Ithamara Koorax have come up with a beautiful reflection on Brazilian music that goes far above and beyond expectation.

Schärli, whose attractive sound and complimentary interjections suggest the influence of Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stańko, and Koorax were first brought together in 2006 by the legendary Brazilian percussionist Dom Um Romão (1925-2005), who had previously worked with both musicians on separate occasions, to record Obrigado Dom Um Romão.

Here, Peter Schärli teams his remarkably sensitive trio with Hans-Peter Pfammatter on piano and Thomas Dürst on bass with the ethereal and lovely voice of Ithamara Koorax in a way that’s most unusual. They never give the impression of a trio backing a singer. This is a superbly well integrated quartet of musicians who play with each other, not for the benefit of making one soloist sound better.

The sound of the Schärli trio with Ms. Koorax is also one that never falls into patterns of predictable. Theirs is a cohesive jazz logic that belies the standard bossa-nova pretense. These imaginative creatives rethink their melodies, many of which are not the typical Brazilian standards. The absence of percussion also requires the melodists to think and react rhythmically, which makes for a more compelling listen.

The program starts beautifully with Antonio Carlos Jobim’s romantic “Fotographia” (first heard on 1965’s The Astrud Gilberto Album and then on the composer’s 1967 A Certain Mr. Jobim, which featured Dom Um Romão) before alternating to the spirited consideration of “Sandalia Dela,” Luiz Claudio’s little-known sprite from Duke Pearson’s 1969 How Insensitive (with Flora Purim).

Launching into Ivan Lins’ “Setembro,” best known from its appearance on Quincy Jones’ 1990 album Back on the Block (with vocals by Sarah Vaughan and Take 6), the quartet falters a bit here. Each player’s performance is assured and attractive. But together the group isn’t as sure of the tune’s highly reverential tone. This is corrected by the pianist’s own “Wedileto,” a gorgeous piece of wordless celebration that engages Schärli in a lovely duet with the singer and elicits several noteworthy solos.

A certain sort of climax is reached with the quartet’s uncannily elegant consideration of Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes’ “O Grand Amor,” which first appeared on the 1963 classic Getz/Gilberto, as did the most well-known version of Ary Barroso’s 1943 song “Para Machucar Meu Coraçao,” which the quartet regards here with especially loving consideration.

Never distancing themselves too far from Brazil’s melodically intoxicating rhythms, the quartet delivers surprisingly danceable versions of Baden Powell’s memorable “Deixa” (first heard as “Let Me” on the Wanda de Sah / Sergio Mendes Trio recording Brasil ‘65) and Edu Lobo’s “Zum-Zum” (originally from the composer’s 1970 album Cantiga De Longe), introduced by some of Schärli’s most unexpected and open-minded explorations.

O Grande Amor is, ultimately, a superb jazz-like exploration of Brazilian music made by musicians who not only understand the music thoroughly, but deliver it more beautifully than expected.

"O Grande Amor" - Top Audio review
CD : Peter Schärli featuring Ithamara Koorax - O Grande Amor
Écrit par Michel Bedin 06 Février 2011
Posted in TopAudio - Musique

Durée : 46' 24''
TCB 03172

Notre avis : ****(4/5)
Le trompettiste suisse Peter Schärli a rencontré la grande chanteuse brésilienne Ithamara Koorax pour un album intimiste et intime de ce mélange de jazz et de musiques brésiliennes qu'elle affectionne.

Musiques brésiliennes, disais-je, car beaucoup de ces chansons sont composées par des Brésiliens bon teint, comme Carlos Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes, Baden Powell, Luiz Claudio, Ary Barroso ou Fernando Lobo et également parce que la langue chantante d'Ithamara Koorax est du brésilien pur jus.

Jazz, parce que toute la formation est jazz, chanteuse, trompettiste, pianiste et bassiste et cela s'entend. La trompette de Peter Schärli ajoute un climat festif en même temps que triste et nostalgique. Le piano de Hans-Peter Pfammatter est dynamique à souhait, et la basse de Thomas Dürst, sans batterie donc, est souple en même temps que vigoureuse.

Un titre, « Setembro », d'Ivan Lins, dont on sait qu'il ne choisit pas des rengaines faciles, mais des partitions présentant les plus extrêmes difficultés, montre qu'Ithamara Koorax n'a peur de rien. Cela donne un disque extrêmement sympathique et brillant. Mais elle est coutumière du fait. Tous ses enregistrements sont aussi étincelants que celui-ci.

Disponible sur CD chez Amazon

"O Grande Amor" - Swing2Bop review

Peter Schärli Trio/Ithamara Koorax "O Grande Amor" (TCB 03172)
Reviewed by Bruce Crowther

Peter Schärli's trio reunites with Ithamara for a delightful selection of songs on O Grande Amor. This 2010 session is mainly of Brazilian songs,including Ivan Lins' 'Setembro' and Antonio Carlos Jobim's 'Fotografia' and 'O Grande Amor'. These songs are intriguingly coloured with subtle jazz improvisations from the trio that underline and uplift the singer'seffortless styling. For this date, Peter is again heard with bassist Thomas Dürst while the pianist is Hans-Peter Pfammatter. Throughout, the interplay of these four artists is impeccable and the fiery core of Peter's trumpet playing contrasts vividly with Ithamara's glowing vocal sound. First-rate music from first-class musicians.