Receita de Samba
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Receita de Samba

Medford, Massachusetts, United States | SELF

Medford, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Band World Jazz


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"Anna Borges and Bill Ward: Receita de Samba (2012)"

Boston area husband and wife team Anna Borges and Bill Ward are the creative force behind Receita de Samba, a collection of 11 classics by various Brazilian composers.

Both sing on alternate tracks that mix samba and bossa nova with other regional variations. A percussion heavy band that also includes flutist Amir Milstein and Ward (on piano and guitar) provides accompaniment to the vocalists.

Given that the five songs featuring Ward are associated with João Gilberto, comparisons to the Brazilian and his one-time wife Astrud Gilberto are inevitable. Borges' range is wider than Astrud Gilberto's, however, and her delivery less fragile and naïve sounding.

Ward puts a jazzier spin on the Gilberto tunes with his phrasing and cool yet earthy piano lines ("E Luxo So," and the slightly faster, more swinging "Preconceito" and "Brasil Pandeiro"). His vocal style is also more surefooted and less hesitant on the samba "Eu Sambo Mesmo," while his and duet with Millistein on "Falsa Bajana" is reminiscent of the original Stan Getz/Gilberto matchup, but with a simpler, more folksy approach.

Borges interprets a wider variety sub-genres associated with several different Brazilian artists. Her sensual vocals on "On Aquele Frevo Axe" and "Vatapa" are smoother than the versions by the famous Gal Costa, yet equally emotive. The arrangements also frame her voice with deferential instrumentals as Ward's keys mirror her intonations.

The lesser known gems in her repertoire include "O Vendedor De Caranquejo," featuring a flute and voice duet; Gilberto's "Curare" and Borges' take on "E Vamos A Luta," the polka-like forro from the northeast of the country, are taken at a more laidback pace than the originals by Gonzaguinha, the man credited with popularizing this particular dance. The heartbreakingly beautiful "Conselhos" is a brand new composition in honor of choro legend Waldir Azevedo, to whom great justice is done by Borges' delivery—a storm of emotion beneath a seemingly calm surface.

With this delightful album Borges and Ward share their love of Brazilian music, shedding light on new and obscure pieces and placing well known ones in a fresh perspective.

Track Listing: Vatapá; É Luxo Só; Aquele Frevo Axê; Brasil Pandeiro; O Vendedor de Caranguejo; Preconceito; E Vamos à Luta; Eu Sambo Mesmo; Conselho; Falsa Baiana; Curare.

Personnel: Anna Borges:vocals; Bill Ward: vocals, guitar and piano; Amir Milstein: flute; Fernando Saci: percussion; Gabriel Meireles: percussion; José Pienasola: bass; Vinícius Pienasola: drums.

Record Label: Self Produced - All About Jazz - Hrayr Attarian

"Anna Borges & Bill Ward/Receita de Samba"

ANNA BORGES & BILL WARD/Receita De Samba: A diplomat's daughter winds up in Boston where she meets up with a guitarist fed up with academe and the two come together to make Brazilian music that sounds like it's from the homeland instead of just born there, in part. A super tasty, low key fire kind of date that really gives the Brazil music sweet tooth the filling it needs. Someone alert Scott Adams that this needs to be on his play list. Hot stuff that just dazzles throughout with spot on sounds from everyone involved. Check it out. - Midwest Record - Chris Spector

"Anna Borges & Bill Ward Receita de Samba 2012"

Seven kinds of sexy...And that barely covers the sub genres and regional variations in both the bossa nova and samba! Anna Borges and Bill Ward do their own incredibly authentic riff on these and some regional flavors including the Forro, Ijexa and Coco. Brazilian music has always hit my musical sweet spot.

There are inherent problems with attempting Brazilian music. The artists tend to rehash the Jobim discography with little imagination and even less authenticity and the release simply falls off a cliff for the true aficionado. Another issue is the artistic death by self indulgence in post production where every electronic crutch known to man is used in an attempt to aid the rhythmically challenged. With Receita de Samba, Borges and Ward move well past the stereotypical favelas and beaches and shine an amazing light on other styles of contemporary Brazilian music in their most intimate and organic state.

The infectious Dorival Caymmi tune "Vatapa" opens this stellar release with authenticity and the infectious rhythms you hear with your hips and feel with your feet. Borges vocals are spot on, rhythmically punctuating Ward's detailed work on acoustic guitar. "E Luxo So" features Ward taking over the vocal duties and did I mention Ward and Borges happen to be husband and wife? "Preconceito" continues with Ward on vocals and the bright and breezy Brazilian ambiance flows with subtle layers of texture while remaining the organic presentation that borders on the intoxicating."Falsa Baiana" features Amir Milstein on flute and develops a infectious organic pulse as do so many of the tunes here.

Brazilian music is organic, intricate and have amazing subtle nuances that permeate the different sub genres. What makes Receita de Samba work so well is that great care has been taken to maintain the authenticity and integrity of the music featured. An knowledge of samba or a fluency in Portuguese is not needed to enjoy one of the better Brazilian recording you may ever hear.

Spot on vocals, first call musicians and true musical integrity make Receita de Samba a must for the devote of Brazilian music. An intoxicating ebb and flow with far too many highlights to list.

5 Stars

Tracks: Vatapa; E Luxo So; Aquele Frevo Axe; Brasil Pandeiro; O Vendedor De Caranquejo; Preconceito; E Vamos A Luta; Eu Sambo Mesmo; Conselhos; Falsa Baiana; Curare.

Personnel: Anna Borges: vocals; Bill Ward: vocals, guitar, piano; Amir Milstein: flute; Fernando Saci: percussion; Jose Pienasola: bass; Vinicius Pienasola: drums. - Critical Jazz - Brent Black

"Anna Borges And Bill Ward - Receita de Samba"

Husband and wife duo Anne Borges and Bill Ward stir up a soothing blend of Brazilian music on their collaborative release Receita de Samba. With eleven songs taken from a catalogue of various Brazilian composers, Borges and Ward take turns with lead vocal duties, emphasizing drawn-out phrasings that are most effective in Portuguese. Both singers, even Ward who is American-born, bring an authentic approach to each song, highlighting the music's hard-to-describe nuances. Ward is also quite convincing on nylon-string guitar, unrelenting in a demanding style of syncopated accompaniment, especially on up-tempo pieces such as "E Luxo so" and "Eu Sambo Mesmo."

Residing in the Boston area, Borges and Ward are part of a vibrant local community of jazz and Brazilian musicians, including the special guests here. Bassist Jose Pienasola and drummer Vinicius Pienasola, along with percussionists Fernando Saci and Gabriel Meireles provide solid backing throughout. Amir Milstein's flute adds extra flair to this all around bright affair. - The Jazz Word - John Barron


Receita de Samba - released 2012



Receita de Samba, taken from Jacob do Bandolim's choro of the same name, means in Portuguese "recipe for samba", an apt name for a group who's focus is to showcase the many flavors of Brazilian music in their simplest from with no artificial additives like drum machines or electronic sampling. The chefs de cuisine are husband and wife duo Anna Borges and Bill Ward, who draw from Boston's vibrant Brazilian music scene to cook up only the finest Bossa Nova and samba, and well as regional specialties such as Forró, Ijexá, and Coco. Collaborations have included: Alfredo Cardim, Amir Milstein, David Rumpler, Fernando Brandão, Fernando Huergo, Fernando Michelin, Fernando Saci, Fabio Saffi, Gabriel Meireles, José Pienasola, Mark Walker, Mike Turk, Rebecca Cline, and Vinícius Pienasola.

Anna, originally from Recife, Pernambuco, began her career in Brasilia singing in bars, clubs, and theaters, accompanied by some of Brasilia's finest musicians, many of whom she met during her studies at the Escola de Musica de Brasilia. In 2004 when her father was assigned to a post as vice-consul at the Brazilian consulate in Boston, she saw an opportunity to pursue a musical career in the US, following in the footsteps of many other Brazilian musicians who have left Brazil in order to further their musical development. Soon after her arrival in Boston, through mutual friends she met singer/multi-instrumentalist Bill Ward, with whom she discovered a great deal of musical and personal affinity (the two would be married a couple years later).

Bill had recently left Oberlin Conservatory, where he had been studying jazz piano. During his time there, he became increasingly focused on Brazilian music, ultimately making the decision to explore the language and music of Brazil to the exclusion of all other pursuits. He soon found himself in Boston where he was surprised to discover a thriving community of Brazilian musicians, with many of whom he and Anna would later collaborate. His most notable collaboration at the time was with pianist Alfredo Cardim and harmonica player Mike Turk, with whom he performed on WGBH's "Eric In The Evening." It was around this time that Anna and Bill met and began to embark on a project that would have traditional brazilian music as its focus.