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CD Review: Kenia Celebrates Dorival Caymmi

Contributors: Wilbert Sostre
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  • Genre: Jazz - Latin Jazz
  • Personnel:
    Musicians: Kenia Ashby (vocals), Fernando Merlino (piano), Leo Traversa (bass), Airto Moreira (percussion), Jay Ashby (percussion, trombone, vocals), Lucas Ashby (percussion), Ian Ashby (percussion, vocals), Thomas Wendt (drums), Eric Sussoef (guitar), Marty Ashby (guitar), Tatjana Chamis, Fabiana Chamis (vocals)
  • Tracks:
    Tracks: Eu nao tenho onde morar, Roda Piao, And roses and roses, Samba da minha terra, Vatapa, Requebre que eu dou um doce, Voce ja foi a Bahia, Sabado em Copacabana, O dengo que nega tem, Acontece que eu sou baiano, Nunca mais, Doralice, Eu vou pra Maracangalha, A vizinha do lado, Marina

Review: Dorival Caymmi, one of the best brazilian songwriters, is to samba what Tom Jobim is to Bossa Nova. Some of the best sambas ever written are from Dorival Caymmi, and I can not think of a better singer to do an homage to Caymmi than Kenia Ashby. Kenia melodious voice and elegant phrasing is a perfect match to Caymmi fun lyrics and infectious rhythms.

You will find classics on this CD like Voce ja foi a Bahia?, Doralice, Eu vou pra Maracangalha and the beautiful interpretation of Sabado em Copacabana. Kenia Ashby is a native of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, currently living in Pittsburgh. For sure most of these songs were part of Kenia childhood in Brasil. And you can hear an almost nostalgic feeling on Kenia voice singing about Copacabana.

All the songs arrangements have a jazzy touch, without losing the samba feeling. Kenia voice is powerful and with the flavor required for the more upbeat sambas like Eu nao tenho onde morar, Samba da minha terra and Vatapa. Subtle and sweet in the slow ballads like Nunca mais and Marina, recorded with just voice and piano. Playful on O dengo que a nega tem, Acontece que sou Baiano and Requebre que eu dou um doce, the last one with nice scats harmonies by Kenia and Jay Ashby trombone.

The rhythm section of Fernando Merlino on piano, Leo Traversa on bass, and Jay Ashby, Lucas Ashby and Ian Ashby on percussion is superb. But there is another surprise on this album, the great Airto Moreira also plays percussion in most of the tracks.

This album is definitely a must have for fans of brazilian music. Like Kenia says on her CD notes, Dorival repertoire is so vast that it might warrant a second album. I will be waiting for that sequel.

Record Label Website: Artist's Website: Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre

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