Flora Purim (born March 6, 1942) is a Brazilian jazz singer known primarily for her work in the jazz fusion style. She became prominent for her part in Return to Forever with Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke. She has recorded and performed with numerous artists, including Dizzy Gillespie, Gil Evans, Opa, Stan Getz, George Duke, Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead, Santana, Jaco Pastorius, and her husband Airto Moreira.
In 2002, Purim was the recipient of one of Brazil’s highest awards, the 2002 Ordem do Rio Branco for Lifetime Achievement. She has been called “The Queen of Brazilian Jazz”.
Purim was born in Rio de Janeiro to Jewish parents who were classical musicians. Her father Naum Purim played violin and her mother Rachel Vaisberg was a pianist.
When her father was out of the house, her mother played jazz.
She would bring home those 78 vinyl RPMs and when my father was at work, she would play them. That was how I got exposed to jazz music… basically listening to Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, and Frank Sinatra. But also a lot of piano players, such as Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson and Erroll Garner, those were my mother’s favorites.
Purim began her career in Brazil during the early 1960s. During this period, she made a recording, entitled Flora e M.P.M., in which she sang bossa nova standards of the day by Carlos Lyra and Roberto Menescal. Later in the 1960s, Purim was lead singer for the Quarteto Novo, led by Hermeto Pascoal and Airto Moreira.
After reaching young adulthood, Purim mixed jazz with radical protest songs to defy the repressive Brazilian government of that time. A 1964 military coup in Brazil led to censorship of song lyrics, and she later commented on this period of her life as follows: “I wanted to leave Brazil. There’s a river there called the San Francisco River. I used to sing to the river, that, as it flowed out to the ocean, it would take me to America.”
Shortly before leaving Brazil, Purim and Airto Moreira married. (wikipedia)
In jazz circles, Flora Purim is best known for her fusion recordings of the ’70s — not only her work with the first edition of Chick Corea’s Return to Forever, but also classic solo albums like Butterfly Dreams and Stories to Tell. However, Purim actually started recording in the ’60s. This fascinating album, which RCA put out in Brazil in the early ’00s, takes listeners back to the singer’s early period. The material was recorded in 1964, when Purim was only 22 and was still eight years away from joining Return to Forever. At the time, the bossa nova craze was in full bloom in both the United States and Europe — Stan Getz’s work with Astrud and João Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim was doing well on the pop charts, which is impressive when you consider that jazz had lost so much ground commercially after World War II.
But Flora é M.P.M. is hardly a carbon copy of the bossa nova that Getz, Jobim, and the Gilbertos were providing at the time. In 1964, Purim had her own thing going — she didn’t feel the need to emulate Astrud Gilberto or anyone else. The Brazilian jazz and pop (all of it in Portuguese) that one hears on this album has a variety of influences, and they range from Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald to some of the post-bop that was coming out in 1964. Turning her attention to songs by Edú Lobo, Vinícius de Moraes, and other Brazilian composers, the young Purim shows considerable promise. Nonetheless, Purim still had some growing and developing to do in 1964, and her most essential work came in the ’70s. Flora é M.P.M. is primarily for the singer’s hardcore fans, who will no doubt be fascinated by these early recordings. (by Alex Henderson)
In other words: What a wonderful album !
Jorge Arena (percussion)
Ruben Bacine (percussion)
Orlando Silva de Oliveira “Cipó “Costa (saxophone)
Hamilton Pereira Da Cruz (trumpet)
Sandoval Dias (saxophone)
Aurino Ferreira (saxophone)
Manuel Gusmao (bass)
Airton Lima (bassoon)
Antônio Macaxeira (trombone)
Osmar Milito (piano)
João Theodoro Meirelles (saxophone)
Paulo Moura (saxophone, clarinet)
Pedro Silveira Neto (saxophone)
Antônio Norato (trombone)
Pedro Paulo (trumpet)
José Luís “Formiga” Pinto (trumpet)
Flora Purim (vocals)
Dom Um Romao (drums)
Dom Salvador (piano)
Jorge Ferreira da Silva (flute)
Raul De Souza (trombone)
Rosinha de Valença (guitar)
01. A Morte De Um Deus De Sal (Menescal/Boscoli) 3.34
02. Cartao De Visita (Lyra/de Moraes) 2.49
03. Sabe Voce (Lyra/de Moraes) 3.01
04. Definitivamente (Lobo) 1.31
05. Se Fosse Com Voce (Gama) 2.32
06. Maria Moita (Lyra/de Moraes) 2.35
07. Hava Nagila (Idelsohn) 2.19
08. Reza (Lobo/Guerra) 2.26
09. Samba Do Carioca (Lyra/de Moraes) 2.07
10. Primavera (Lyra/de Moraes) 1.50
11. Boranda (Lobo/Guerra) 2.33
12. Nem O Mar Sabia (Menescal/Boscoli) 2.17