Paul Bradshaw (Straight No Chaser) Interviews Guida de Palma
JAZZWISE – UK – Oct 2006
Freestyle Records FSRCD101 ***
Guida de Palma and Jazzinho, ATLAS. Freestyle Records
Although set up as recently as 2003 by the Jazz Cafe’s Adrian Gibson, Freestyle Records is fast building a reputation as one of the UK’s most open-minded labels. Refusing to be corralled by genre and embracing everything from Afrobeat to soul, the latest offering from the Freestyle stable is the mighty Jazzinho, brainchild of the Portuguese-born, London-based singer Guida De Paima. To describe the melting pot that is Jazzinho’s signature sound, think of someone with a sizeable rare groove collection, a passion for Jobim and a serious Steely Dan obsession and you’re definitely on the right track. With top drawer musicianship, superior arrangements cool Fender Rhodes, retro synth washes, funky backbeats – and the majestic sweep of Guida’s beautifully fextured vocals (in Portuguese, English and French if you please), Atlas marries a contemporary Brazilian sensibility with a jazz mind-set. The album’s many highlights include the rambunctious ‘The Lagoon Monster’, the heavenly harmonies of ‘Cancao De Embalar’ and the truly epic ‘Humano, Desumano’ which I’m sure would have maestros Becker and Fagen licking their licks. There’s just one moment of madness, ‘Symmetry’, the outro of which transmogrifies nightmarishly into what sounds like an Andrew Lloyd Webber show tune which, for any lover of good music, can’t be a good thing. No matter, it serves only to confirm the greatness of the material on offer here. This is a gorgeous summer breeze of an album, providing balm for the soul, fuel for the brain and beats for the feet. Peter Quinn
UK. 4 star out of 5.
23 September 2006
Guida De Palma & Jazzinho
Born in Portugal, based in London and dreaming all the way to Brazil, Guida De Palma and her “sweet little jazz” group Jazzinho have made solid progress since their self-titled (and now virtually unobtainable) 2003 debut.
Atlas finds De Palma more focused and varied in her (co)writing, taking more risks with her scatting and other impressive vocal gymnastics, and adding a little traditional forró (from northeastern Brazil) to the samba and bossa that she fuses with nu-jazz, funk and soul stylings. The dapper Brazilian producer Ed Motta duets on a couple of torchy cuts and gives the brass and Fender-enriched arrangements a warm, spacious sound; the solos are virtuosic, but coolly understated. An exaggerated vibrato and occasional strident tendencies make her voice an acquired taste, and when she sings in English, the lyrics may cloy. Maybe try before you buy.
Drum & Bass Magazine
UK Sept 2006
Guida De Palma and Jazzinho – Atlas
Jazzinho’s leading lady Guida De Palma and her band are put through their paces here by Brazilian food and music connoisseur Ed Motta. From lounging jazzcentricities to super groovacious material with more than a nod towards the dancefloor, Jazzinho and Motta have produced some rather lovely material together. “Da Tempo ao Tempo” sees effortless vocals coat electrifying keys and solemn percussion. Thrilling brass, flying forward vocals and golden strings come together on “Humano, Desumano”. Brazil meets the UK (and technically Portugal) on this piece of collaborative work and results are sparkling !
UK Magazine Sept 06 – Rating 10/10
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Guida De Palma and Jazzinho Atlas (Freestyle)
Guida De Palma and Jazzinho’s Atlas brings some of the smoothest grooves and laid back jazz ‘tunes you’re likely to hear this year. The opening track treating you with Guidas sweet subtle vocals, making you unable to not smile and tap your feet My face especially lit up when the third track began with a bass line so full of the funk that I thought I might just vomit it makes me think of ‘the first time I heard Jaco play, that natural flow of the groove pouring out of him. I meal1 they can’t just play .. THAY PLAY!! These are the kind of tunes that would have the dead dancing along. The breaks and changes feeling so natural and comfortable, the soul and sunshine being passed on as soon as you hear Jazzinho begin to play. Guida De Palma SInd Jazzinho are a comfortable mix of Herbie Hancock, Jamiroquai, Steely Dan and Amparanoia, at the same time though they are defiantly one in their own. Ok, so at times this album does venture into cheesy Brazilian cabaret music but it quickly saves itself with those tight syncopated bass lines and groove heavy drums. Some of you may be reading this thinking that this doesn’t sound like your kind ot thing but do give this a chance. This is just what I got from it; it’s so much more that this, which is why Ifeel1his is such a great album. If your wanting to have something that will make you feel like summer is just round the comer rather than being washed away by alI the rain then get Atlas. It will sooth those dreary rainy days. 10/10 Winston
Blues & Soul
(UK) – 4 star
The footie’s back in full swing and the World Cup is a distant memory. England were crap and the vaunted boys from Brazil didn’t deliver, but I’m pleased to say that their musos still can. Jazzinho (not be confused with that great winger) are one of Brazil’s top groups and in De Palma they have a feisty vocalist who proves that all Brazilians don’t sound fey and wispy. Top man Ed Motta’s in the producer’s seat and he brings some classy jazz and soul sensitivities to this new 12 tracker, though in places (like the catchy “The Lagoon Monster”) I’m reminded of Steely Dan. Every cut has something to offer but I found myself going back to “Cancao De Embalar” and “Humano Desumano” time after time. Indeed I was known to skip with gay abandon to that last one, but we won’t tell everyone! It matters not one jot that we can’t understand too much of what they’re singing about .. it just sounds so joyous.. and it’s a reminder of what might have been this summer.
(RATING 4) (B.B)
Straight No Chaser ..
UK mag, fall 2006.
Jazzinho’s Guida de Palma Gives us the lowdown on “Atlas”
AFTER THE SUCCESS of the first album what direction did you want the new album, ‘Atlas’, to go in?
I wanted it to sound live, exactly like the band sounds live. There was no programming or editing. Every single note, phrase you hear is the result of a musician playing it, not a computer triggering a somple. And so are the vocals. We recorded, three/four songs a day with two takes max … everybody together, 60’s style. The sound engineer, Tom, is a Rock guy, so it worked really well.
What did Ed Motta bring to the recording sessions?
Ed brought his know how as an artist and producer. When he had an idea for a groove he would sing it to the bassist and drummer. Same thing for the brass section. It was great to see him mimic the different instruments. For myself and my band, half of them ore Brazilian, having Ed Motta on board, was a dream come true. Alongside Ed and my Latin Funketeers, the personnel on this album are quite exceptional: Hamish Stuart, Harry Beckett, Max Middleton, Jim Mullen, Graham Harvey, Graeme Flowers, Mark Bassey … La creme de la creme! I feel honored.
Tell us about the Steely Dan sheen that Ed aspires to?
Ed did use Steely Dan to calibrate the studio.
In my opinion, It’s a very balanced sound that is reinforced from the very start of the recording process by choosing specific instruments from certain makes and year of manufacturing, then the relevant mikes, all of this complemented by written brass and vocal arrangements. Ed insisted on hiring a lot of vintage gear, like a D6 Clavinet, ARP Solina, Fender Jazz Bass from 1973 etc … Fortress studio itself is 100% vintage with an Ampex 24 tracks, a Neve desk and a B3 with its Leslie cabinet. The technique for the BVs is the 180/260 degree one with many harmonic layers panned throughout the spectrum (I understand Steely Dan does this). It’s a lengthy process but the result is rich and luscious like the one on the first album, but more natural, as Ed insisted we did not use any compression. Then, Ed just left me to record all the BVs by myself …
You seem to be pretty hands on … was it difficult relinquishing control or did it free you up in different ways?
When I asked Ed to produce the album, all the songs were already written, structured, arranged and above all rehearsed. I am blessed to have wicked musicians playing with me. Nic France and Dudu Marques on drums, Matheus Nova on Bass, Marcelo Andrade on flute and viol in, Anselmo Netto on percs and mandol in and Gui Tavares, with whom I co-wrote and arranged part of the album.
So, when Ed arrived, he didn’t have to start things from scratch. We had a strong basis on which Ed added some arrangements and/or grooves to take things even further. The recordings were bliss and painless because everybody kept an open mind and we all enjoyed every moment of it. It went so quickly! But it will stay engraved in our minds forever as a very special time. In the end the mix was done in Brazil and that’s the only part of the process where I was forced to relinquish control. There was no money left in the budget for me to go to Rio so I had to stay in London and in the end just accept the final result. Don’t get me wrong. I love it! But I would have done a couple of things differently. So, it was a learning curve … and I promised myself I’ll never let anyone, may it be the best in the world, mix my baby without me.
How important is playing live for you … it that the key to promoting the album?
To be honest, we do albums and hope we have good gigs as a result. Live performance is why I do what I do, everything is geared towards this magic moment. You always create something new and give your best. It’s very important for people to rediscover the live experience … nowadays you need all the help you can get to get decent gigs, there’s less and less money around. You also need a motivated record label, which we’re lucky to have a good promo etc. ..
Where would you like Jazzinho to be in 12 months time?
I would like Jazzinho to be playing in all the jazz and world festivals. Jazzinho deserves it!
Straight No Chaser
UK mag, fall 06.
London based outfit Jazzinho, fronted by Portuguese singer/songwriter Guida De Palma come with their second album. Their self titled debut released in 2004 combined the musical skills of some key players on London..s Latin fusion scene with an understanding of club culture. Its mix of bossa, jazz, samba and upfront beats ensured that it found its way into the boxes of Nicola Conte, Rainer Truby, Patrick Forge, Nik Weston and other key DJs across the globe. So 2006 brings ..Atlas.., twelve tracks of contemporary Brazilian beats produced by top Brazilian producer and musician Ed Motta. In tracks like ..The Lagoon Monster.., ..Humano Desumano.. and ..Symetrie.. you can hear echoes of Chaka Khan and Stevie Wonder blend with Joyce, Gilberto Gil and Azymuth. More importantly Ed Motta provides the perfect mix for Guida..s stunning voice to shine. In years to come when you want a momento of the glorious Summer of 2006 check ..Atlas…
London UK – Issue September 2006
Chill out, mate!
Chill out, mate!
Jazzinho shows in London its beautifully soothing grooves
Even for Paulistanos accustomed to Sao Paulo’s chaotic transport system, the record 188km traffic jam that took place on the 15th August due to striking tube workers was too much to bear. But what can you do? Throw yourself in the River Tiete? Not if you’re listening to Jazzinho. “Sometimes I imagine someone stuck in traffic on the other side of the world listening to our music and chilling out”, reveals the band’s leader, Portuguese-born Guida de Palma. If you want to see whether or not the singer’s daydream is a reality .. be it in Sao Paulo or on Oxford Street – then head along to the Jazz Cafe in Camden on the 28th October to hear Guida de Palma and ]azzinho play live.
The group’s sound is refined and their arrangements sophisticated made and produced by industry stalwarts. Their influences include Nina Simone, Azymuth, Chaka Khan, Gilberto Gil and Ed Motta, who was also in charge of the London-based, multinational group’s most recent work. “Producing ]azzinho was like taking a holiday”, declared the musician, who’s renowned for his perfectionism both as a producer and composer.
Jazzinho mostra em Londres som para esfriar as cucas
..Por Aleksander Aguilar
Mesmo para o paulistano, acostumado com o trânsito caótico, o engarrafamento recorde de 188 quilômetros, ocorrido no dia 15 de agosto em função da greve dos metroviários, foi além do limite da paciência. O que fazer? Jogar-se no Tietê? Não se o som que estiver tocando no carro for Jazzinho. ..Às vezes eu imagino alguém preso no meio do congestionamento do outro lado do planeta relaxando com o nosso som.., revela a líder da banda, a portuguesa Guida de Palma. Quem quiser comprovar se a imaginação da cantora pode ser realidade .. em São Paulo ou na Oxford Street .. tem a chance de ouvir Guida de Palma e Jazzinho ao vivo, no Jazz Café, em Camden Town, no dia 28 de outubro.
O som do grupo é apurado e de arranjos sofisticados, feito por quem sabe e produzido por quem conhece. As influências são Nina Simone, Azymuth, Chaka Khan, Gilberto Gil e também Ed Motta, a cargo da produção do mais recente trabalho da multinacional banda residente em Londres. ..Produzir Jazzinho foi como tirar umas férias da minha própria arte.., declarou o músico tão perfeccionista como produtor quanto como compositor.
..Atlas.., segundo álbum da banda, tem um título que serve como uma luva para o jazz com percussões afro-brasileiras, vocais soul com melodias bosseadas e integradas por bandolin, piano, sax, violino, flauta, trombone e trompete. É mesmo um ..jazzinho.., intenso e dançável, comandado pela voz da portuguesa com sotaque brasileiro, Guida de Palma. As letras que versam em inglês, português e até um pouco de francês também refletem o internacionalismo do grupo, mas não deixam de ser cheias de brasilidade. Tratamento instrumental refinado para ouvidos que querem ser embalados por um som que ao mesmo tempo faz o corpo dançar e os pensamentos viajarem .. bem longe do tráfego. Bata a porta do carro e dance no congestionamento.