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.”
Joyce Moreno (voc, g)
Hélio Alves (p)
Jorge Helder (b)
Tutty Moreno (d)
Medo de Amar
Esta tarde vi Ilover
Convince Me (Love is Inconvenient )
Samba do Grande Amor
O Amor é Chama
Sobras da Partilha
Valsa do Pequeno Amor