Jacinta – Convexo (A Música De Zeca Afonso) (2007)

FrontCover1“Her approach to music is absolutely adult and mature. Jacinta is an assertive singer, solid, with excellent expression and musical sense” –All Jazz, Portugal

Critically acclaimed for her “warm, velvety and powerful voice” (Com・rcio do Porto, Portugal), Jacinta won “Best New Artist” honors in 2001 by Cinco Minutos de Jazz (Antena 1 since 1966) and was referred to as “The Portuguese Jazz Singer” by Jose Duarte

“Self-confident and knowledgeable” (Jornal de Noticias, Portugal), Jacinta’s singing has both the fleshiness, that bluesy quality, and also an incredible depth to the swing. Her amazing intonation and vocal command set her apart from the average jazz singer. From classic Bossa Nova and acrobatic Djavan tunes, or from her own Portuguese originals to swinging Monk tunes and soulful jazz ballads, Jacinta reveals a capacity to present a mixture of repertoire that is given structure by her well trained vocal instrument.

Coming from an unlikely background for a jazz singer–delving into classical training in composition and piano, and even heading up a progressive rock group–Jacinta’s boundless musical energies finally found full expression in the field of jazz.

A jazz vocal performance on a popular Portuguese television show propelled her to national fame and jump started her vocal career, eliciting numerous concert appearances.

Jacinta traveled to perfect her craft at the Manhattan School of Music where she was granted a full scholarship toward her Masters degree. Her study of improvisation continued with Chris Rosenberg of the Ornette Coleman Band and Peter Eldridge of the New York Voices.

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Still in New York, Jacinta participated in workshops with renowned names of contemporary jazz, such as Maria Schneider, Ed Neumeister, Mark Murphy, Dave Holland and Annie Ross.

Later, during her four year residency in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, Jacinta performed regularly with several musical bands, with whom she appeared at top jazz venues such as Kimball’s East and Yoshi’s.

In 2001, invited by trumpeter/producer Laurent Filipe, Jacinta sings in a live concert series paying tribute to Bessie Smith. Jacinta was considered by the Portuguese critic as “One of the top vocalists of our day” (Blitz, Portugal), as having “a remarkable presence on stage, confident and graceful” (Correio da Manh・, Portugal), and as owner of a “strong and sovereign voice” (Sete, Portugal).

Jacinta02She is “an inspired and skilled jazz improviser” (Correio da Manh・, Portugal), with an incredible deep sense of groove and swing that is unlike any other singer. The success of this project culminated with its discographic edition on the prestigious Blue Note/EMI Portugal, in February 2003. This album, Tribute to Bessie Smith, reached the Portuguese national top sales and was warded a Gold Record for sales over 25.000 copies, something never before achieved in Portuguese jazz history.

After this big hit in the Portuguese musical scene, Jacinta looked for new ways and new approaches by dedicating herself to several satellite projects such as Jacinta Sings Monk and Jacinta Sings Brazil. In her study of Thelonious Monk music, the singer picks challenging ways preferring a more instrumental approach and highlighting not only the swing but also the angular melodies and the less obvious harmonies.

The project Jacinta Sings Monk was premiered in jazz Quintet format and later enlarged for jazz Quartet with classical orchestra. Amongst the several orchestras with whom the singer worked, the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra stands out. In this project, just as noticeable are the directors Gra・a Moura, Vasco Pierce de Azevedo, Rui Massena and the arranger Paulo Perfeito.

The project Jacinta Sings Brazil emerges from the singer’s need to explore sonorities and swings which are distinct from the American jazz. Here, the singer revisits and deepens an already experimented style with her American bands. The repertoire of this project is marked mostly by Jobim and Djavan tunes, presented with jazz Quintet.

With this specific program, Jacinta appeared seven nights at the Winter Garden of the S・o Luiz Theatre, selling out every performance. The singer’s rhythmic sense stands out once again showing total indulgence and an intrinsic musical knowledge providing the listener with a sense of lightness and great naturalism.

In March 2006, Blue Note/EMI Portugal releases Day Dream, Jacinta’s new studio album. This is a new musical phase, where the singer rediscovers Duke Ellington and enlarges her musical spectrum when including tunes of very distinct styles. The greatest challenge came from Greg Osby, saxophonist, arranger and producer of the project, by proposing the inclusion of composers as diversified as Djavan, Cole Porter, Tom Jobim, Duke Ellington, Zeca Afonso, Martin and Monk.

Rui Caetano

This record could be considered a landmark by the way instrumentalists play and expand creatively, in constant dialog between themselves and with the singer who, in turn, interacts with the band, approaching the melodies with the fluidity of a wind instrument. This approach results in fresh music, marked with a strong mainstream jazz swing but of contemporary flow. Osby suggested the inclusion of adaptations of some of the songs to Portuguese language, in an effort to bring this music style closer to the Portuguese public. In the Day Dream tour, a series of 20 huge box-office success concerts throughout Portugal, Jacinta was enthusiastically welcomed by an euphoric and appreciative audience.

In 2007, Jacinta dedicated herself to new projects, including a homage show to Zeca Afonso (Portuguese traditional singer-songwriter) in Trio format, which resulted in her third album Convexo [the music of Zeca Afonso]. In this new work, Jacinta takes this strongly flavored Portuguese traditional music and transforms it with a cool jazz approach. The new harmonies and the strong rhythmical concept develop these compositions and give them freshness and modernity.

Again, with Convexo, Jacinta sells over 18.000 copies and carries out an amazing 20 venues Tour, around the country, between March and May 2008.

”Convexo reveals an unorthodox repertoire of the author (Zeca Afonso), far from the cliches where Jacinta develops and explores, recreates and expands the music of the author… “ (by allaboutjazz.com)

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Zeca Afonso;
José Manuel Cerqueira Afonso dos Santos, known as José Afonso, Zeca Afonso (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈzɛkɐ aˈfõsu]) or just Zeca (2 August 1929 – 23 February 1987), was born in Aveiro, Portugal, the son of José Nepomuceno Afonso, a judge, and Maria das Dores. Zeca is among the most influential folk and political musicians in Portuguese history.

He became an icon among Portuguese left-wing activists due to the role of his music in the resistance against the dictatorial regime of Oliveira Salazar, resistance that triumphed in 1974 with the pro-democratic leftist military coup of the Carnation Revolution. His song “Grândola, Vila Morena” is closely associated with the revolution, since it was chosen to be the password transmitted by radio for the beginning of the movement that toppled the dictatorship.

In the ensuing revolutionary process, Zeca was a very active musician and continued composing political and folk songs, often criticizing the post-revolutionary changes. Years after his death, Zeca Afonso is still widely listened to, not only in Portugal, but also abroad. (by wikipedia)

Zeca Afonso

Personnel:
Rui Caetano (piano)
Jacinta (vocals)
Bruno Pedroso (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Adeus Ó Serra Da Lapa 4.51
02. O Homem Voltou 5.42
03. A Formiga No Carreiro 4.40
04. Era Um Redondo Vocábulo 5.17
05. Cantigas De Maio 5.33
06. Tenho Um Primo Convexo 4.09
07. Se Voaras Mais Ao Perto 3.28
08. A Morte Saiu À Rua 4.10
09. Que Amor Que Me Engana 5.40
10. De Não Saber O Que Me Espera 5.32
11. Coimbra Do Mondego 4.43

All Songs written by Zeca Afonso

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Jacinta – Day Dream (2006)

JacintaFrontCover1Day Dream of the Portugal jazz singer Jacinta is her second album, after a disc with blues pieces. On the new disc Jacinta presents songs of the jazz classics from the American continent – among others pieces from Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, Herbert Martin, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Thelenious Monk. The CD was produced by Greg Osby, a known American saxophonist, jazzmen. Although the name of the vocalist from the beautiful Portugal sounds similar to Jacintha, recording for years for the American publisher Groove Note, this are in reality two different worlds. I have the feeling, that Jacintha fell in the trap of “audiophilism”, where the sound “candy”counts more, slow songs, where you can place a triangle with a reverb that sounds for 2 minutes, the percussion whisks murmur in a soporific way, and similar. On the disc of Jacinta (without the “h”) we have a refreshing amount of real music, presented in a very good, balanced way. The sound is very suggestive – the cymbals have a resonant, a bit “atmospheric” character, they murmur, but also hit when it is necessary. They lack a bit “substance”, heaviness, but this is really a small shortcoming. The voice is presented nicely, but without a special resolution – here the recordings of Jacintha, although not without problems, show the vocalist in a clearer, more natural way. On the disc Day Dream it can be heard, that the vocal was a bit too compressed. It comes exactly from the middle, and lacks some “breath”. And, as the sound of the contrabass shows, it is possible to record the sound in a natural way, coming from many sides, and not condensed in one point. The timbre of this instrument is a bit too hard, in reality the contrabass sounds in a bit softer way, without a clear center. Sound presented in the mentioned way will seem better to the audiophiles. Some kind of precognitions how it could sound is given by the cymbals. This is not an audiophile recording, but it keeps a high, good level, and brings much good music. (by highfidelity.pl)

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Personnel:
Matt Brewer (bass)
Rodney Green (drums, percussion)
Jacinta (vocals)
James Weidman – piano
Greg Osby (saxophone)

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Tracklist:
01. Enfim (Day Dream) (Ellington/Strayhorn/Latouche) 5.49
02. Decide Lá (I’m Beginning To See The Light) (Ellington/George/Hodges/James) 3.12
03. My Heart Belongs To Daddy (Porter) 4.42
04. I’m All Smiles (Martin/Leonard) 4.33
05. In A Sentimental Mood (Ellington/Mills/Kurtz) 4.25
06. Alma Confusa (Azure) (Ellington/Mills) 4.31
07. Jogral (Djavan/Filó/Neto) 4.32
08. Canção de Embalar (Afonso) 3.30
09. Luiza (Jobim) 3.13
10. How I Wish (Monk/Hendricks) 6.09
11. Day Dream (Ellington/Strayhorn/Latouche) 5.17
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12. I’m Beginning To See the Light (bonus track) (Ellington/George/Hodges/James) 3.11
13. Eternamente Assim (In a Sentimental Mood) (bonus track) (Ellington/Mills/Kurtz) 4.26

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