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De Bach à Jobim by Trio Esperança

Trio Esperança is one of Brazil’s oldest and most popular acapella singing groups. Founded in 1958 in Rio de Janeiro by preteen siblings, Mário, Regina, and Eva Correia José Maria, the group’s rise to fame was launched on the pop treatment of teen music and the popular music of Brazil. Today the group, featuring Eva Correa, Mariza Correa and Regina Correa, covers an ever widening stylistic territory, singing in English, Spanish and French, in addition to their native Portuguese. They have added music from throughout the Americas and Europe to a songbook that is truly international in character and outreach.

From the opening cut, De Bach à Jobim, is a delightful exploration of the art of song. The trio sing these songs with precision, sensitivity and an emotion that adds a whole new dimension to some of these songs. "Caminho Da Razão",(roughly, road to reason), Eva Correa’s adaptation J.S. Bach’s Aria (from the 3rd Suite for Cello) arranged by the singer’s husband, pianist/producer Gérard Gambus is a beautifully crafted piece that the trio use to introduce you to their wonderful style.

The group apply their fresh style to the Brazilian roots classic, "Upa Neguinho". The three part harmony adds a complexity to the melody that is rich and full, with rhythms and tones that are entertaining throuhout. This song rolls nicely into another Brazilian classic the legendary "Desafinado", Antonio Carlos Jobim's popular composition. Having heard this song done in more ways than I can count, it is rare that I am surprised by the treatment of the lyric and melody. Trio Esperança bring two new dimensions to the song, three part harmonies that are lush and expressive, and a native familiarity with the style that makes is sound new again. The song is already one of my favorites and the Trio have now given me a new version to add to my list.

This CD is full of creativity and unique treatment of familiar songs. One example is "A Rosa (Rancho Das Flores), by Vinicius de Moraes. The arrangement by Gambus, again in the context of a Bach composition, the master's "Cantata BMV 147" has a Baroque feel to it, but the accordian of Marc Berthoumieux provides the more modern European feel to it. The trio provide a delightful instrumental approach to their voices.

The next two cuts are treatments of familiar Lennon/McCartney compositions "Penny Lane" and "Blackbird". They sound familiar, but at the same time are new in their complexity of the expressiveness of the Portuguese language(Penny Lane) coupled with a lovely arrangement of the voices and strings and the acapella treatment(Blackbird). "Blackbird" opens with a purely acapella interpretation, and as such becomes one of my favorite renditions. Sung in English, the Trio use their three part harmony to reignite the beauty of this song.

The CD launches into a full out Brazilian expression of song in three parts with "Samba Do Avião", followed by "Odeon", "Joana Francesca", "Uma Gota Do Mar"( a drop in the sea), and ends with Renato Teixeira's "Romaria". This sequence of songs is why I would buy this CD! This is an amazing expression of voice and Brazilian traditional and popular music. The voices of the Trio sound like angels expressing the full range of emotion in each of these songs. To go into the details of each song would not do them justice, get the CD and listen!

De Bach à Jobim is my first exposure to Trio Esperança. I count this CD among one of the finest vocal CDs I have heard in a long time. You don't have to understand the languages they are singing in, you only have to love good music done well. The beauty of their voices make these songs resound with a new found beauty. The song selections are fresh and the arrangements and execution are flawless. The group entertain throughout!

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Trio Esperança
  • CD Title: De Bach à Jobim
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2010
  • Record Label: Disques Dreyfus
  • Tracks: Caminho Da Razão, Upa Neguinho, Desafinado, A Rosa(Rancho Das Flores), Penny Lane, Blackbird, Samba Do Avião, Cantiga(Caico), Odeon, Joana Francesa, Uma Gota Do Mar, Romaria
  • Musicians: Eva Correa, Mariza Correa, Regina Correa(vocals), Mario Faraco(Brazilian guitar), Silvano Michelino(percussion), Inor Sotolongo(percussion), Marc Berthoumieux(accordian, appears courtesy of Sous La Ville), Gérard Gambus(piano)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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