JOAO BOSCO & NDR Big Band - Senhoras Do Amazonas
CD yeb-7716-2

"Senhoras Do Amazonas"

João Bosco - vocals, guitar
Kiko Freitas - drums
Ney Conceicao - bass

and NDR Big Band:

Thorsten Benkenstein, Ingolf Burkhardt, Claus Stötter, Reiner Winterschladen - trumpets
Fiete Felsch, Peter Bolte, Christof Lauer, Sebastian Gille, Lutz Büchner, Frank Delle - saxophones
Dan Gottshall, Klaus Heidenreich, Stefan Lottermann, Ingo Lahme - trombones
Stephan Diez - guitar
Vladyslav Sendecki - piano
Lukas Lindholm - bass
Marcio Doctor - percussion


1. Bate um Balaio ou Rockson do Pandeiro (4:34)  2. Desafinado (5:41)  3. Nação (4:55)  4. Bodas de Prata (5:35)  5. Preta-porter de Tafetá (6:13)  
6. Chega de Saudade (5:16)  7. A Nivel de… (3:26)  8. Saída de Emergéncia  9. Senhoras do Amazonas (8:54)  10. Angela (5:53)  

Legendary brilliant composer/vocalist/guitarist Joao Bosco is one of the main figures of the MPB (Música Popular Brasileira ) scenery. His 2006 release Obrigada Gente! Ao Vivo (Universal Brazil) has sold over 100.000 copys in his homeland Brasil. In Europe he is still one of the "secret pearls" of Brazilian singer-songwriter music to be discovered by a larger audience . Admired as a versatile vocalist and a dynamic performer. João Bosco has been noted for his singular fusion of Arab culture, Afro-American music and Brazilian styles bossa nova influenced by American jazz.

João Bosco started playing the guitar at 12 years-old. Years later, when he was studying engineering in Ouro Preto, he discovered jazz, bossa nova and tropicalism. One of his music partners and friends, Vinícius de Moraes, encouraged him to move to Rio de Janeiro. Together Bosco and Moraes wrote the hits "Rosa dos Ventos", "Samba do Pouso" and "O Mergulhador".

Bosco also co-wrote several songs with Aldir Blanc. These tunes were recorded by singer Elis Regina, who turned them into BPM standards, such as "Mestre-sala dos Mares", "Dois pra Lá, Dois pra Cá" and "O Bêbado e a Equilibrista". The latter has become an anthem for the political amnesty movement.

All through his musical career, Bosco has been seeking ways to fulfill his musical curiosity, test his talent, find new dimensions for his composing, his playing and his performance. Jazz is only one influence on his work, which is shot through also with Brazilian, African and Cuban elements, his family's Moorish background, his father's love of samba and even the church music of his Ponte Nova boyhood.

This collaboration with the NDR Big Band gives presents a new facette of his music: brasilian grooves enriched by the powerful energy of one of the hotest Big Band’s around.

The collaboration started when the NDR Big Band toured Brasil in 2007 and Stefan Gerdes of the NDR puts the story in his own words:
"The first question we had to deal with was: how can you orchestrate the music of a man who is not only one of the greatest singer-songwriters, but who is also a fantastic guitarist and can easily enchant and electrify the audience alone, just by himself? We decided not to play background music for João but to somehow meet him in the middle: to combine his unique mixture of Samba, Rock and Jazz with the possibilities of a contemporary European Jazz orchestra and its individual soloists. With the help of Ney Conceição’s groovy bass lines and Kiko Freitas’ breathtaking and inspiring drumming the NDR Bigband sometimes really reached the energy of a steaming Samba band. This CD integrates a few of the many sides of João Bosco: his "africanidade" - the afro-brazilian, samba based side, his Rock’n’Roll side, his wonderful sense for ballads and his astonishing talent as a Jazz singer: João can turn a song easily into a adventurous journey (just listen to his scatting on "Desafinado").
Another reason for the success of this CD is Steve Gray’s incredible talent as an arranger and his empathetic abilities: Steve reached the core of things and turned it into something new. To be honest, I didn’t know that he was a fan of João’s music until he was asked to join in: "Of course I’d love to", he said, "next to Al Jarreau, João is my favorite singer!" That was indeed a perfect precondition. It is so sad that Steve never had the chance to listen to the result of his work. He died shortly after the beginning of the recordings. But I am very glad that Steve and João did meet.
He arranged the music in the style of the great classical composers, developing ideas after ideas, hardly ever repeating anything, not even the smallest motif. That’s why the music can grow with every listening. And like all the great masters, Steve could make complex things sound so easy. Musicians and listeners can literally "bathe" in the harmonies he created. So in the end with the meeting of João Bosco, Steve Gray and the NDR Bigband we tried to re-discover and hopefully re-invent an important chapter of Brazilian music. I know this might sound daring, but like João says: "That’s what art is about: to dare new things every day."

(Stefan Gerdes)

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