Jobim, João Gilberto, Joyce – Brazil has given us so many brilliant composers, instrumentalists and vocalists. It is with great pride that Stunt Records releases this new recording by the revered Brazilian singer Joyce Moreno (previously known as Joyce), recorded in Rio last year with her own trio.
Joyce Moreno is a Brazilian vocalist and songwriter as well as guitarist and arranger. She was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1948, and since her debut in the late ‘60s she has been considered one of Brazil’s great singers. Joyce has made over 20 records. Apart from her impressive solo output, she has also performed
with artists like Elis Regina, Toninho Horta, Jose de Moraes and Yoko Kanno and appeared on soundtracks and composed for film and theater.
Joyce was introduced to music by her guitar-playing older brother, and by listening to Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, and the whole Brazilian music tradition. In her formative years the new bossa nova wave impressed the young journalist student. Fortunately, she chose the music.
SLOW MUSIC is a very special and subdued recording. It does not exclusively feature original songs, but also includes more or less well-known but extremely
appropriate Brazilian songs and a few jazz standards. The music presents itself with a sophisticated subtle sensuality that nestles up to the listener. This is the calm and presence of a vocalist who has lived a long and persistent life with her music. She knows her instrument and her skills from every angle.
Joyce calls SLOW MUSIC her dream project. The dream began more than ten years ago, but only now has it come to pass. Joyce dedicates the album to Shirley Horn, Bill Evans and João Gilberto, which gives an idea of the mood. The record is based on silence and pauses, and has to do with how they may be used. Joyce says that the pause “is an important moment in music. Without silence sound does not exist. Without light and shadow, the colors would have no nuances. Refinement begets refinement”. She also explains how she read the Italian Carlo Petrini’s Slow Food Manifesto from 2000 in which is written,
“…we have become slaves to speed, and everyone is infested with the same virus: A fast life, which ruins our habits, invades our privacy and forces us to eat fast food”. She was enchanted by the concept and began to reflect on the similarities between music and food. “For years the world has exposed our ears to junk music. Music is food for the soul. It is the best conveyor of emotions we know.”
This said, we may continue to point two: The songs and Joyce. The intention was to create a long reflection on love. She did not want only to sing songs about the desperate kind of love that makes people cut their wrists. To the contrary,
she wanted songs that give life to the doubts, the irony and the questions.
Thus the choices were made mainly on a basis of the beauty of the songs, but also with due respect for the lightness and reflection with which they deal with the oldest emotion on earth. And sung with great calm. To make this possible
some time had to pass. One cannot sing this kind of song when young, Joyce explains. One needs a certain critical distance, the possibility of a tender recollection with a touch of wisdom. The voice had to age, lose its youthful brilliance and “acquire a shell of patina. A little gravel in the throat, and a firm grip on the lyrics”. And the right collaborators were necessary. Through all the years of dreaming about this project, Joyce put it different settings from minimalistic to bombastic. Finally she reached the present format.
Drummer Tutty Moreno was part of it from the first minute, and he accompanied
Joyce on every byroad chasing this dream. The album is also his. No one else could have played with such precision, sensitivity and fragility. For him, the drums are a harmony instrument. Hélio Alves was an obvious choice. A rare case of a Brazilian pianist and a jazz musician meeting in the same person with expert abilities in both languages. A brilliant soloist. Jorge Helder on bass added the solidity that was necessary for “us to fly together”.
“Foi tudo lindo. Tudo slow. It was all beautiful. All was slow.”
“The invitation to participate in this project came unexpectedly
– but it felt like an invitation to dance with an old flame…
I’ve loved the songs on this album through a long life without ever giving a thought to recording them. But when Bro, AC and Høyer asked me, I could not decline…. And as we swept across the dance floor, it occurred to me that this was an opportunity to pay homage to my first real hero, Louis Armstrong who - unbeknownst to himself - taught me how to sing in Danish…”
There is no doubt that 72-year old Povl Dissing is one the very most popular Danish singers – a true troubadour, whose characteristic voice has been a cherished addition to Danish culture for what seems forever. His career began in the ‘50s with jazz and later on blues and folk music, but his popularity was not easily won. Many people failed
to understand his throaty and dramatic interpretations
of well-known Danish songs. Some felt his versions were undignified, others misinterpreted them as comical. However, Povl Dissing continued to play and sing his controversial
versions of the songs as if they were American blues tunes, thus renewing focus on the often trite lyrics, which he somehow managed to give credibility and meaning.
Dissing can find his way behind the words and sing them at face value without the slightest trace of irony. His artistry is that he always follows his own mantra. He does things his own way, because that is the only way he knows.
In the ‘60s Povl Dissing recorded several Shel Silverstein songs often accompanied by The Beefeaters. These recordings,
which include a Danish version of The Ugliest Man in Town, are still considered central in Danish rock. However, it was his close (and still on-going) collaboration with poet Benny Andersen on “Svantes Viser” in 1973 that made him a household name. He has released approximately
25 albums in collaboration with many of Denmark’s leading musicians and bands from a diversity of genres, and recent years have seen him performing regularly with his two sons in Dissing, Dissing, Las & Dissing.
On THAT LUCKY OLD SUN Dissing returns to his point of departure – early jazz. His interpretations of classic
Armstrong tunes with a handful of Denmark’s leading
young jazz musicians premiered during last year’s Copenhagen Jazz Festival.
HANNE BOEL - I THINK IT'S GOING TO RAIN
After touring extensively for several years with the funk band Blast, Hanne Boel’s career took an explosive jump forward in 1988 with her first soul album. The first of the following fourteen solo releases was hugely successful, and she has topped the Scandinavian charts several times since. Shortly before, in 1987, Boel had a little jazz flirt on SHADOW OF LOVE, an album recorded with pianist Jørgen Emborg, bassist Mads Vinding and drummer Alex Riel. The record was released on a new label called Stunt Records and over the years, while no one was watching, slowly but surely it went gold. 23 years later, Boel and Stunt Records have re-established
our collaboration with I THINK IT’S GOING TO RAIN. But this album does not attempt to revive the music from back then. On I THINK IT’S GOIING TO RAIN a self-confident Hanne Boel draws on the experience of a long career in one of the most challenging of formats: singing to the (almost) sole accompaniment of a piano, with no horn arrangements, sweaty grooves or imposing musicians to hide behind. Simplicity is the keyword in describing Hanne Boel’s new, stripped down landmark of an album. Naked, unaffected, painfully honest and no monkey business.
In the middle of Norway’s beautiful nature, in the legendary Rainbow Studio with the world famous sound wizard Jan Erik Kongshaug working the soundboard, and Denmark’s best pianist Carsten Dahl at the grand piano, conditions were perfect for the popular vocalist. In these surroundings, with a batch of carefully chosen songs, with her experience, her maturity, her fine interpretive powers and personal voice, Hanne Boel created touching musical moments to warm us on a rainy day. It doesn’t get much simpler or more beautiful than this. This project is a musically obligating collaboration involving two creative souls, two musicians with respect for the other’s means of expression. Four of the album’s eleven tracks are enhanced by Butch Lacey’s subtle arrangements for string trio – angel dust underlining the character of each song, offering gentle interplay.
Disregarding genres, Hanne Boel has chosen a string of songs that she loves. You will find pop, soul and jazz tunes here, written by Randy Newman, Rickie Lee Jones, Nick Cave and Steely Dan and interspersed without stylistic prejudice with a couple of great jazz standards, Blame It On My Youth and I Fall In Love Too Easily, and rounded off with Hanne’s own Last Goodbye.
HANS ULRIK - SLOW PROCESSION
Danish saxophonist Hans Ulrik worked for several years on the repertoire for his new Scandinavian quintet featuring Danish trumpeter Kasper Tranberg, Swedish bassist Anders Jormin, and the tw Norwegians guitarist Eivind Aarset and drummer Audun Kleive. When it comes to creative jazz and affiliated styles with a touch of Scandinavia, each of them have been important artists on their own for years. Now they are all together in a Scandinavian super‐group. Back in the old days, they would have been called all‐stars. All compositions are Hans Ulrik originals created especially with the group and each individual musician’s playing style in mind. This jazz music features extended melodic parts with that special Scandinavian flavor, free‐form passages, ragas and ballads. Ulrik draws his inspiration from many different sources: From Burt Bacharach to Carl Nielsen to John Coltrane. This music is free of restraining rules. Imagination is the only limit. Hans Ulrik is among Europe’s busiest and most prominent saxophonists, known for his Scandinavian tone, but also for his great diversity. He is a popular session musician – also in pop and rock – but more than anything else, he is a jazz musician with a long list of collaborators including Cæcilie Norby, Thomas Clausen, Lars Jansson, Gary Peacock, Niels Lan Doky, Marc Johnson, The Danish Radio Big Band and Elaine Elias. Ulrik has several recordings to his name featuring John Scofield, Steve Swallow, Jonas Johansen and Lars Danielsson. Ulrik is also a member of Marilyn Mazur’s Future Song. name as well with many of the foremost musicians of his generation. He has played with Mercer Ellington, Steve Swallow, Charlie Haden, John Tchicai, David Liebman, Ray Anderson, Marilyn Mazur, Chris Potter, Michael Blake, James Moody, Tim Berne, Django Bates and many others. Guitarist Eivind Aarset is an original artist from the creative and experimental Norwegian music scene. His recordings have created quite a stir, and reviews in the international jazz press have been overwhelming. His individualistic approach is hard to box in, and thus Aarset has found a central role in what may be called “NOW jazz”. Eivind Aarset is a regular member of trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær’s group and Marilyn Mazur’s Future Song as well as leading his own bands. He appears on more than 150 recordings with artists as diverse
as Ray Charles, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ute Lemper, Ketil Bjornstad, Mike Mainieri, Arild Andersen, Abraham Laboriel and Django Bates. Swedish bassist Anders Jormin is a virtuosic and internationally highly respected artist. He has recorded and toured with many
jazz legends including Gilberto Gil, Lee Konitz, Elvin Jones, Joe Henderson, Don Cherry, Charles Lloyd, Mike Mainieri, Joe Lovano, Albert Mangelsdorff, Tomasz Stanko, Dino Saluzzi, John Surman, John Taylor, Mark Feldman and Paul Motian. These days, he is a member of Bobo Stenson’s trio – and Hans Ulrik’s groundbreaking group. He appears on countless recordings including 9 in his own name, and he is currently signed to the prestigious ECM label. Drummer Audun Klieve is among the top Norwegian musicians. Held in high esteem, his extremely musical work on drums and percussion has made him a dynamo in Norwegian and international jazz, and he has played with Bugge Wesseltoft, Sidsel Endresen, Jon Balke, Kurt Rissnæs and Terje Rypdal. He is also a member of Marilyn Mazur’s Future Song. He contributes his integrity and high level of musicianship to more than 60 recordings with Terje Rypdal, Jon Balke, Charles Lloyd, Marilyn Mazur and many others.