Title - Bridges To Rio
Artist - Irina Zubareva
For those unaware, it is often said that jazz is global music, but there is no doubt that it was born in the southern United States and originates from African roots.
Indeed, the structure of the art form is like a public commons where incredibly talented people are able to perform and enrich this musical tradition.
Irina Zubareva is one of these highly skilled and gifted artists whose interest in jazz stems from her family.
Irina received her graduate degree in Music from the Saint Petersburg Academy of Art and Music, and then performed in the main Jazz clubs of Saint Petersburg.
Since 2001, she has toured Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, Malta, the Dominican Republic, and also worked as singer with a band or as jazz duo on cruise ships.
Having been living in New York since 2013, where she has performed with Hendrik Meurkens and the Art Lillard Big Band at the Iridium club and the Zinc Bar, there is much of this album that not only comes across as nostalgic, but honorific to Irinas musical parents (who instilled within her the appreciation and gift of music).
Furthermore, she knows that her father would be immensely proud of her singing his favorite music in New York City and yet, this album is more than just a sentiment and translates to something beautifully rare, and which makes you remember how limitless jazz can be.
This, this new album, Bridges to Rio (out July 2nd via Zoho Music) is a mixture of Russian and Brazilian songs with a combined Samba Jazz aesthetic.
It is wholly original, a genuine joy to listen to and that Zubareva has created this gorgeously free flowing album is a testament to her vision to connect the dots and render this highly sophisticated musical art thereafter.
1. Samba Little Samba / Show De Bola
3. Just Friends
4. Lesnoy Olen (Forest Deer)
5. Como Se Fosse
6. Ldinka (Icicle)
8. Im Beginning to See the Light
9. Moey Dushe Pokoya Net (My Soul Has No Rest)
10. Brigas Nunca Mais
11. Ya Budu Vsegda S Toboi (Ill Always Be with You)
12. A Ra
13. Enredo Do Meu Samba
14. U Prirody Net Plohoy Pogody (Nature Has No Bad Weather)
Recorded as part of a live performance - for mostly Russian natives in a private residence in New York in 2019 - and produced by the multi-Grammy and Latin Grammy Award-winning Kabir Sehgal, the album opens on the modernly structured Samba Little Samba / Show De Bola (which features pianist Misha Tsiganov at his fervent best) and the lusciously ornate orchestrations of Copacabana and backs those freely up with the gently fervent duo of Just Friends and Lesnoy Olen (Forest Deer), the laid back, late night jazz club ambiance of Como Se Fosse, and then both the upbeat rhythms of Ldinka (Icicle) and the finger-snapping hipsway of Triste.
With Zubareva joined by her aforementioned pianist Misha Tsiganov (also from St. Petersburg, Russia, but now living in New York), along with two brilliant Brazilian musicians, bassist Itaiguara Brandao and drummer Portinho, next up is their scat jazz rendition of Duke Ellingtons Im Beginning to See the Light and the melodic tones of Moey Dushe Pokoya Net (My Soul Has No Rest) which are in turn followed by the melodically mesmerizing Brigas Nunca Mais, the tantalizingly sumptuous Ya Budu Vsegda S Toboi (Ill Always Be with You), the free flowing A Ra, with the album closing on the lazy river ride of Enredo Do Meu Samba and the cheerfully buoyant U Prirody Net Plohoy Pogody (Nature Has No Bad Weather).
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