1X0 (One to Zero)
Senhoras do Amazonas
Faltando um pedaço
Here’s a thoroughly engaging and enjoyable albeit short session featuring Brazilian vocalist Carol – born Carolina, hence the album title – Saboya. From a
strongly musical family – her father, Antonio Adolfo, plays piano here - she has concocted a ten-track album that visits expected Brazilian tropes (not
least Jobim) but has the courage to take in Sting and The Beatles.
She clearly enjoys a wide range of influences and is certainly no bossa specialist exclusively immersing herself in the genre. With excellent recording
quality one can better listen to and enjoy that range. Passarim is one of three Jobim tunes and is appropriately avian and lissom with Saboya’s
light but focused vocalism flexibly attuned to the lyrics over the springy accompaniment with fine piano comping, flute, fluent guitar and percussive
colour. 1X0 (One to Zero) is a finger-clicker and its sunny disposition is enhanced by Saboya’s facility with the fast, tongue-twisting lyrics
which she navigates like a downhill slalom skier whoosing past gates at vertiginous speed. Lennon and McCartney’s Hello Goodbye, sung in English,
is lightly co-opted to a Bossa via adept guitar and flute solos and sounds well here – not something that can be said of all Beatles adaptations and
arrangements – whilst Sting’s Fragile (again in English) has a nuanced flute line over a decorative piano. Djavan’s Avião is more
straight-ahead, and A Felicidade sways and swings up-tempo. A more reflective Olha, Maria takes a mid-tempo and features a longish outing
by Marcelo Martins on soprano sax. The second composition by Djavan is Faltando um Pedaço and this slow, sensitively shaped ballad brings more
fine singing over a spare backing largely dominated by piano and percussion. Though she could doubtless unleash it should she choose Saboya reserves
vocalese for the final track, Zanzibar, where the music sits lower in her voice, and she sounds correspondingly richer and more resonant.
This fine, engaging album showcases all Saboya’s felicities, and those of her band, with great richness and sympathy.