Thursday, September 20, 2007

Cool Bossa Struttin' - Press Release

Acclaimed as the # 7 Best Jazz Record Label in the Down Beat 2002 Readers Poll, JSR is proud to present the debut solo album by PAULA FAOUR. Titled “Cool Bossa Struttin’”, it features the ravishing talents of Brazil’s top jazz pianist, Paula Faour, backed by two living legends of Brazilian jazz scene: bassist Manuel Gusmão and drummer Dom Um Romão. The album is being released with immediate sales and critical acclaim in Japan, including a four-star review in the January 2003 issue of “Swing Journal” magazine, Japan’s jazz bible.

Besides her great talent (combining a great lyricism with a very subtle rhythmic swing, creating solos of moving beauty, using her classical training to obtain a very special touch on the piano), Mrs. Paula Faour is also very young and beautiful. Something that certainly helps in the marketing aspects, as happened with the career of another very talented Brazilian pianist, Eliane Elias. Like her, Paula has the full potential to become a household name in the jazz scene in the near future.

About the members of her trio, it is worth to mention that we have a brilliant newcomer supported by two legendary older musicians. Just the fact that they (Manuel Gusmão and Dom Um Romão) are her sidemen is an evidence of her talent. Manuel Gusmão, known as “the Brazilian Ray Brown”, played on seminal bossa nova sessions like the debut albums by Flora Purim (“Flora É MPM”, recently reissued by JSR/BMG), Jorge Ben (“Mas Que Nada/Samba Esquema Novo”), Meirelles (“Meirelles & Copa 5”), Conjunto 3D (“Muito na Onda”) and Wanda Sah (“Wanda Vagamente”), to name a few.

And Dom Um Romao, in top form at 75 years old, was a member of great bands like Weather Report (touring worldwide for four years and recording such albums as “Mysterious Traveller”, “Live in Tokyo”, “I Sing The Body Electric” and “Sweetnighter”) and Sergio Mendes’ Brazil 66 (“Ye-Me-Le”, “Fool on the Hill”, “Live at Expo 70”, “Crystal Illusions” etc), besides playing on the legendary “Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim” session in 1967, arranged by Claus Ogerman. Dom Um has also recorded with Ron Carter (“Yellow & Green”), Astrud Gilberto (“Gilberto with Turrentine”), Helen Merrill (“Casa Forte”), Robert Palmer (“Heavy Nova”), Jobim (“Wave”, “A Certain Mr. Jobim”, “The Wonderful World of Jobim”), McCoy Tyner, Cannonball Addreley, Yusef Lateef, Esther Phillips and countless others.

As for Paula Faour herself, she was discovered by JSR’s founder, producer Arnaldo DeSouteiro, back in 1998, when playing in a concert with Sivuca & Hermeto Pascoal. Soon, she became a regular member of Sivuca’s band, and Mr. DeSouteiro recommended her to Ithamara Koorax and Dom Um Romao. Deeply impressed, Dom Um hired Paula as the new pianist for his group in 1999, and since then she toured extensively with him, playing keyboards on Dom Um’s two latest albums (“Lake of Perseverance” and “Nu Jazz Meets Brazil”, both produced by Arnaldo DeSouteiro for JSR/Irma). She also took part, in 2000, in the all-star project for the London-based Mr. Bongo label, “Street Angels”, playing on tracks led by Luiz Bonfa, Danilo Caymmi, Pingarilho and Ithamara Koorax. Paula is also one of the featured artists on the “Rio Strut” album (released by JSR/Milestone in 2002), as a member of the Brazil All-Stars, alongside Deodato, Ithamara Koorax, Dom Um Romão, Joao Donato, Pamyra & Levita, Jorge Pescara, and Claudio Roditi. She also performs as keyboardist/arranger on “Stories and Dreams” (JSR), the debut album by bossa nova living legend Pingarilho.

But nothing compares to her astonishing all-acoustic debut album as a leader, “Cool Bossa Strutin’”, recorded in July 2002 in Rio de Janeiro, with state-of-the-art digital equipment. Actually, all tracks were recorded “live” in the studio, in three days, to give the album a very spontaneous jazz feeling. The repertoire was carefully chosen, mixing very famous jazz standards done with a Brazilian-oriented bossa groove (“Cool Struttin’”, “Here’s That Rainy Day”, “Well, You Needn’t”) and some great Brazilian songs which receive a jazz treatment (the very famous samba “Tristeza”, and Jobim’s haunting ballad “O Grande Amor”, originally recorded on the seminal “Getz/Gilberto” album).

Another bossa hit, “Recado Bossa Nova” (previously recorded by Hank Mobley, Zoot Sims, and The Hi-Lo’s, as well as twice by Manhattan Jazz Quintet) is presented with Ithamara Koorax (voted # 4 Best Jazz Singer in Down Beat’s 2002 Readers Poll) as special guest. And Brazil’s top reedman, Jose Carlos “Big Horn” Ramos performs beautifully on “Tereza My Love” (doing the baritone sax solo on this gem from Jobim’s “Stone Flower” album for CTI), “Blue in Green” (doing the flute solo in this masterpiece from Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue”) and, of course, in the surprising bossa treatment of Sonny Clark’s classic title track! Another Brazilian genius, Eumir Deodato, contributed with “Mr. Tom”, a song he wrote in tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim (“Tom” was his nickname) the day Jobim passed away.

The album is full of amazing surprises, thanks to Paula’s creativity. In the intro for “Tereza, My Love” she uses a phrase from another Jobim song, “Caminhos Cruzados”. The jazz standard “Here’s That Rainy Day” opens with Satie’s “Gymnopedie #1”, but Paula quotes Jobim’s “Waters of March” during the tag. Deodato’s intoxicating samba, “Mr. Tom”, includes the refrain of a big dancefloor hit that Deodato scored in the disco-music era, “SOS, Fire In The Sky”. And there are many other pleasures you will certainly be delighted to discover by yourself!

JSR (Jazz Station Records)
A Division of Jazz Station Marketing & Consulting

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